As concerns arise with NBA players deciding the best way to go forward with a return to play, an important question about Joel Embiid’s contract has reportedly been answered.
The current agreed upon format features eight “seeding games” before the playoffs begin. The NBA is prorating performance bonuses and incentives using March 11 as the end date of the regular season, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. That means the eight additional seeding games in Orlando are not part of the formula.
How does this affect Embiid?
Well, the All-Star center signed a five-year, $148 million extension in 2017 that had financial protections for the Sixers in case Embiid suffered a career-ending injury. According to Wojnarowski, Embiid needed to play 1,650 minutes this season in order to guarantee the remainder of his deal. With 1,329 minutes played this season, Embiid has surpassed the prorated number.
Embiid missed his first two NBA seasons with a broken navicular bone and then was limited to just 31 games his rookie season because of a torn meniscus. That left then-president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo in a tricky spot with Embiid eligible for a rookie max extension. That led the Sixers and Embiid to negotiating "perhaps the most complex" contract in NBA history.
When you see some of the money his counterparts are making, you could make the case Embiid is underpaid. Tobias Harris’ average yearly salary is higher than Embiid’s and Al Horford’s isn’t much lower. If Ben Simmons’ rookie max extension kicks in as initially expected — which is dubious now considering the state of the league — he’d also have a higher average salary.
Embiid earned his third All-Star appearance this season and could end up on the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams for a third time as well.
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