BOSTON — Joel Embiid didn't have to be in the building to be the topic of conversation.

The Sixers reacted strongly to his new deal — a five-year, $148 million extension, per a league source (see story) — before their game against the Celtics.

Embiid trained in Philadelphia on Monday and will rejoin the team tonight. Here's what his teammates had to say before they could even say congrats in person.

Ben Simmons
“He’s a beast. As soon as he hits that court, I can’t name one person who’s going to stop him. Honestly, there’s nobody that can compete with him in his position. There’s no one.” 

Jahlil Okafor
“He deserves it. I’m really happy for him. It wasn’t a surprise to me. You’ve seen how good of a player he is. He’s an even better person.” 

T.J. McConnell
“I don’t think anyone is more deserving after what they’ve been through. To go through two injuries back-to-back years and then come out and do what he did last year, he deserves every single dollar of that ...

“It’s a sense of relief and security. You don’t want a guy like that to go anywhere else. I know the city is really excited. He’s pretty much the go-to guy, the man, and we love having him.” 


Dario Saric 
“For sure he deserves that money. He’s the guy. Everybody knows he will bring us to another level. I cannot wait to see him on the court, to play, to show who we really are. In those 31 games, he showed good talent. He means a lot for our team. I hope he will stay healthy. If he stays healthy, this team is totally different.”

Nik Stauskas 
“Very well-deserved. Obviously there are going to be people who question it just because he hasn’t played that many games. But for us to see him in practice and saw him over those [31] games he played last year, if he’s able to stay healthy, I think he’s worth every single penny.

“We all believe he can be one of the best players in the world. He has a physical skill set in terms of strength and size that not many people in this league have. He also has a jump shot, he has a handle, he has a touch around the rim that not many big men have. Just really a special combination.”

Robert Covington
“Hey, get that bag. Get that bag. He deserves it. Definitely [when] a healthy player, he’s one of the best players in this league without a doubt.”

Richaun Holmes
“He’s great on both ends of the floor. He’s a great player. He just affects the game in so many different ways. [He] can dominate, give us the guy to throw the ball in the post, anchor the defense. It’s going to do nothing but make us so much better.”