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. This piece has been updated to reflect the news.
The evidence against Embiid receiving a lucrative extension from the 76ers was overwhelming: two seasons (164 games) missed due to a recurring right foot issue and a third season cut prematurely with a left knee injury that eventually resulted in a March surgery. Embiid also did not play in a back-to-back last season as the Sixers monitored his minutes. Until recently, Embiid had not been cleared to participate in 5-on-5 in practice and still has not played in a preseason game.
But Philadelphia has a franchise-altering talent on its roster who, when healthy, can change the landscape of a game. If the Sixers didn’t lock him up before the season started, he would have hit restricted free agency and other teams could’ve forced Philly to match all kinds of tricky deals.
What were the Sixers’ options during extension negotiations, and how might Embiid’s incentive-based and injury clauses work in his new contract? Let’s take a look.
The minutes clause
The Phoenix Suns‘ Alan Williams recently signed a three-year, $17 million contract that guaranteed the center $6 million in the first year but zero protection in years 2 and 3. Williams (currently out with a knee injury) could see the protection increase to $1 million in each year if he played in 1,600 minutes in the prior season and met a body-weight clause.
While Philadelphia was unlikely to put body-fat-percentage language in an extension for Embiid, the 76ers could put in a minutes clause that protects the team in future years.
For an Embiid extension, Philadelphia could’ve signed him to a four-year, $113 million max contract with the first-year salary of $25.3 million…