Joel Embiid and the Sixers have reached agreement on a new contract extension, the team announced. The contract, which is reportedly a four-year, $196 million deal, was signed on Tuesday.
The deal locks up Embiid through the 2026-27 season and is fully guaranteed, so the Sixers are banking on a clean bill of health from their four-time All-Star, who represented himself in negotiations.
Embiid, 27, became eligible for a super-max extension after earning second-team All-NBA honors this past season. A new collective bargaining agreement might come in 2023-24, and that could push Embiid’s extension to more than $200 million. The current number is with a projected salary cap of $124.9 million in 2023.
Since Embiid has two years and $65 million left on his current deal, he’ll be paid $261 million over the next six seasons.
Rudy Gobert signed the largest deal for a center in league history in December 2020 when he inked a five-year, $205 million extension with the Utah Jazz. Embiid’s contract would make him the highest paid center annually in NBA history.
“Joel is the definition of elite — a role model in our community and a true MVP-caliber superstar on the court,” Sixers managing partner Josh Harris said in a statement. “Since he was drafted in 2014, his rare blend of skills, charisma and leadership has transformed this franchise. We couldn’t be more grateful and excited to continue watching him in a 76ers uniform.”
Injuries have hampered Embiid throughout his career. He missed his first two seasons after undergoing surgery on the navicular bone in his right foot, and he hasn’t played more than 64 games in a season. In his first contract extension, a five-year, $146.5 million deal in 2017, the Sixers included clauses that would have allowed them to waive him if injuries caused him to miss significant time.
Embiid started 51 of the Sixers’ 72 games in 2020-21 and averaged 28.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, and 1.0 steals on his way to finishing as the NBA MVP runner-up. He suffered a small lateral meniscus tear in his right knee in the playoffs. ESPN reported that Embiid has not needed offseason surgery.
The franchise center missed only Game 5 against the Wizards, but he was limited against the Hawks despite averaging a playoff career-high 30.4 points. The top-seeded Sixers lost their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Hawks in seven games.
The future of Ben Simmons is the big cloud hanging over the Sixers with trade rumors swirling. Although that remains a major unknown, Embiid will be here for the foreseeable future, and that makes Philly a contender. The Sixers have made the playoffs the last four seasons and finished top-three in the East in three of those years.