Editor's note: Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers agreed to a $148 million extension on Monday that includes incentives - such as millions of more dollars for making the All-NBA team - and protection against injury, with specific details on those clauses still unreported.
Embiid, already a fan favorite in Philadelphia, was selected with the third pick in the 2014 draft.
Last season, Embiid averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game but he was limited to just 31 outings last season due to knee injury that he sustained against the Portland Trail Blazers last January 20. With Embiid on the floor, the lowly 76ers actually outscored teams, competing with opponents for the first time in years after undergoing a dramatic rebuild. Philadelphia could have waited out the 2017-18 season to see how Embiid's body held up before negotiating an extension, but clearly had no interest in allowing that situation to loom over the team for the next nine months.
That's certainly a large amount of money to give to a player who's appeared in just 31 out of a possible 246 games due to a slew of injuries.
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While re-signing Embiid was a no-brainer, there still is a risk in bringing back a guy on max contract who has suffered season-ending injuries in three straight seasons. The 23-year-old ended his 2016-17 campaign early to have knee surgery.
It's unlikely we'll ever see Embiid play 82 games in a season, or anything close to that.
Only playing about 30 games in the last couple of years, Embiid hasn't had a whole lot of time to prove he's worth this contract.
That said, when Embiid has been on the court he has looked like a max player. The Sixers slapped him with minutes restrictions in his rookie season, even when he was healthy.