If Embiid is mostly healthy and plays 65 or more games a season for the next five years, this is a great deal (and the Sixers will become a very risky team).
Oft-injured 23-year-old center Joel Embiid - who has played just 31 games through the first three years of his National Basketball Association career after also missing the 2014 Big 12 and NCAA Tournaments because of a back injury suffered in a one-and-done college season at Kansas - on Monday agreed in principle to a 5-year, $148 million designated rookie scale maximum contract extension, ESPN reported.
Embiid missed the first two seasons of his career and didn't even last 800 minutes of his third while playing under heavy time restrictions. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that giving almost $150 million to someone with less than half a season under his belt is an enormous, big risk.
Embiid, a native of Cameroon, averaged 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in 31 games as a rookie before being sidelined in late January with a meniscus injury.
The Sixers are placing a bet on Embiid's health in the future, but based on Embiid's limited sample size, it's a bet the team needed to make.
While many analysts have questioned Philadelphia's decision to invest in an injury-prone player, some believe the Sixers had no other option since Embiid is viewed as a once-in-a-generation talent. The Sixers see the Cameroonian as their centrepiece, with the team willing to take a big chance by giving him this new contract. The key fact still unknown about the deal - and the one that will determine the extent of the risk involved for Philadelphia - is the amount of guaranteed money. I hope he will stay healthy. "He's just scratching the surface". If he makes it through this season healthy, they could always sign him in July.
The top two players in that draft, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, have played more games than Embiid.
Hopefully Embiid's play can put the Oden comparisons to rest.
If Embiid recovers from his physical ailments and can play at least over 50% of the season annually, then the deal will be worthwhile.
Embiid is one of the most-talented young players in the league, but this is a pretty huge bet on a guy who's yet to prove he can stay healthy for even half of a season. The designated exception is also known as the "supermax", which allows Embiid to earn a higher percentage over the salary cap if he achieves certain career accomplishments.
The Sixers are counting on Embiid and No. 1 overall picks Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz to carry the team from the bottom of the league into an Eastern Conference playoff team.