Sixers, Joel Embiid agree to 5-year, $148M extension

Sixers, Joel Embiid agree to 5-year, $148M extension

Updated: Oct. 10, 12:18 p.m.

As good as the Sixers expect Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz to be, Joel Embiid is the keystone of the franchise.

Hence the reason Embiid nicknamed himself "The Process."

Now he's paid accordingly.

The Sixers and Embiid have agreed to a five-year, $148 million extension.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news.

The Sixers and Embiid had until Oct. 16 to agree to an extension; otherwise, Embiid would have become a restricted free agent following the season. Had that occurred, other teams could have made offers, but the Sixers would have had the right to match. 

Now, there will be no offers. No chance another team offers more than the Sixers are willing to pay. Instead, the Sixers are banking that Embiid is the player who showed so much potential in just 31 games last season — and that he'll stay healthy enough to prove it (see story).

If he avoids a major injury this season, Embiid will have a chance to earn another $30 million. Per Wojnarowski, the deal allows Embiid to earn the maximum permitted under the designated rookie scale extension, or "the super-max." Embiid could earn up to $178 million over the life of the deal if he reaches certain incentives this season (i.e. Defensive Player of the Year, league MVP or is named to the All-NBA first, second or third teams). This additional amount represents 30 percent of the team's 2018-19 salary cap (for more, if you dare, delve into the 5th year, 30 percent max criteria.) 

What's more, the Sixers will receive salary cap protection should Embiid miss significant time because of injury, according to Wojnarowski. Given the risk involved with this decision, such a clause obviously makes sense.

And based on all of the above, so does this:

Injuries forced Embiid to miss his first two NBA seasons and limited him to just 31 last season. Still recovering from a knee injury, Embiid has yet to play this preseason but has begun playing 5-on-5. He is traveling to Boston tonight and should be with the team at practice Tuesday (in Boston) (see reaction from teammates on Embiid).

Following the Sixers' loss to the Celtics Monday, they have two more preseason games before the regular-season opener Oct. 18 at Washington. Embiid said last week he has a "pretty good" chance of playing in a preseason game. They play the Nets on Long Island on Wednesday and the Heat in Kansas City on Friday.

Play in Long Island? Eh. But Kansas City? Now that's a possibility, especially considering the day before, the Sixers practice at Kansas, Embiid's old stomping grounds. 

(Update: Embiid on Tuesday was declared probable to play against the Nets.)

Donovan McNabb meets Carson Wentz, gives playoff prediction

Donovan McNabb meets Carson Wentz, gives playoff prediction

Think the Eagles are a playoff team?

Donovan McNabb does. 

"Absolutely," McNabb said while visiting the Eagles' locker room after their 34-7 razing of Arizona (see breakdown). "It's the funny thing about the NFC East. You really can't tell until about Week 12 or Week 13 because they pound each other so much. I think they have everything they need to make it to the playoffs, and it's going to be a great year."

Sixty-nine percent of teams winning four of their first five games have made the playoffs (234 out of 339). However, the Eagles are one of the 105 teams that failed to make the playoffs after a 4-1 start (2014 when they finished 10-6).

But that year, they didn't have Carson Wentz, who picked apart the Cardinals and became the first Eagles QB to throw four touchdowns in a game in Philadelphia since ...

McNabb, who did it in 2008 in another rout of the Cardinals, 48-20, on Thanksgiving. McNabb always could throw a great deep ball, and if there's been one area of concern with Wentz, that's it.

Not Sunday (see story).

Wentz threw a pretty ball over the middle to Torrey Smith for a 59-yard score. Then he hit Nelson Agholor, who used a couple jukes to finish a 72-yarder and capped with a tribute to one of McNabb's former deep ball targets, DeSean Jackson.

The last Eagles QB to throw two touchdowns of at least 50 yards in a game? McNabb, who did it in 2006 against Washington.

"It's been impressive the way he's been playing this year," McNabb told NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derrick Gunn. "I know people think I've been down on him a little bit, but the thing I wanted to see was after Week 4. After Week 4 of last year, things kind of changed. And you can see they're continuing to rise. I like what I'm seeing from the passing attack."

For McNabb, one of the most memorable moments of the day came when he sent his son over to Wentz with a ball to be autographed.

"I might sell it in 20 years, make me some big money," McNabb said. 

"It's an experience for my kids. My kids were all born here while I was playing for the Eagles. My son, same locker, came in, and I had both of them just sitting there with me. I think it was after a loss. I was sitting in the chair in the same locker. They were sitting behind me. It's an experience they can continue to grow with. To follow a guy like Carson — he's got a promising career."

The feeling was mutual.

"I’ve met Donovan before. He’s a great dude," Wentz said. "Now to meet his kids, that was really cool. That was really cool and it’s cool to see him come back too, come back to a game and still show his support for the team and for the city.”

As quarterbacks, McNabb and Wentz share one trait: mobility. When Wentz eluded several defenders before hitting Agholor for a 58-yard touchdown in the season opener against Washington, it brought back memories of McNabb's 14.2-second scramble and heave to Freddie Mitchell at Dallas in 2004.

While both can escape pressure, McNabb sees one key difference in their means of doing so.

"I had a little bit more pizzaz. I had more swagger," he said jokingly. "But again, it doesn't matter how you get it done. He's getting it done. No one really expected it, but the whole thing about it is, he's a ballplayer. There's a reason he went No. 2."

Just like McNabb.

Report: Darren Sproles out indefinitely with broken arm

AP Images

Report: Darren Sproles out indefinitely with broken arm

It appears the Eagles have lost running back Darren Sproles for a while.

Sproles, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, suffered a broken arm in Sunday's 27-24 victory over the Giants and is out indefinitely.

Sproles left the game early in the second quarter with what was announced as a wrist injury and did not return after running the ball three times for 11 yards. 

Despite his loss, the Eagles' run game thrived. Wendell Smallwood, LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement combined for 160 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 30 carries.

Veteran Torrey Smith, for the time being at least, will take over as the Eagles' punt returner. Smith returned one punt Sunday for nine yards. He tweeted it was his first punt return since high school.

The 34-year-old Sproles seemed to be contemplating retirement after last season, his 11th in the NFL, but backed off this spring during OTAs.

"We're gonna see," Sproles said in June. "Right after we make the playoffs, then come back and ask me."