Joel Embiid signs five-year max extension with Philadelphia 76ers

By @saihoops on
Joel Embiid
Dec 18, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers centre Joel Embiid (21) dives to keep the ball in play during the fourth quarter of the game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers won the game 108-107. USA TODAY Sports / John Geliebter

Joel Embiid, widely regarded as the most skilled big man in the sport, has agreed to a five-year max extension worth US$148 million (AU$190 million) with the Philadelphia 76ers. Embiid, dealing with a plethora of injuries, has played a grand total of 31 games through his first three seasons in the league.

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. During his rookie season, Embiid averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks from just 25.4 minutes per game, while shooting an impressive 37 percent from three-point range.

According to ESPN, Embiid has the opportunity to earn an additional US$30 million if he makes an All-NBA team or is named the MVP this upcoming season. Embiid received the designated rookie scale extension, also called the "the super-max," which amounts to 30 percent of the salary cap.

Brett Brown, coach of the Sixers, said Embiid is a "difference-maker." "When he has been able to practice with us, he has changed the gym. You don't give up that tag freely -- but he has a chance to be great. There's still a lot of work to be done. You know, when you look at his body of work -- only playing 31 games, and really he's only been playing basketball for six years, and he's 23. He's just scratching the surface," Brown said after Monday's practice session.

While comparing him to Tim Duncan, Brown said Embiid is the kind of player who can turn the fortunes of a franchise. "He does things on a court that remind me of, you know, somebody that's able to hear music and just play the song. You know, he will study [Tim] Duncan, or study KD, or another player, and all of a sudden it's a part of his game. He's very unique, very unique."