Joel Embiid is indeed the face of the Sixers.
Barring a trade that looks awfully improbable at the moment, he’ll be in Philadelphia for a lot longer.
Embiid has agreed to a four-year, fully guaranteed supermax extension for $196 million, a source confirmed Tuesday morning to NBC Sports Philadelphia. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne first reported the news. The Sixers later announced that Embiid signed a "multi-year contract extension."
Shelburne reports the contract includes a player option in the final year and is based on a projected $124.95 million salary cap for the 2023-24 season, which is when the extension will begin.
Embiid, 27, is coming off of the best season of his career. He became eligible for a supermax deal by being named to the All-NBA Second Team and finished runner-up to Nikola Jokic in MVP voting, averaging 28.5 points on a 63.6 true shooting percentage and 10.6 rebounds.
Injuries have followed Embiid throughout his career. Most recently, he played through a small right lateral meniscus tear during the postseason.
“It’s a torn meniscus,” he said after the Sixers’ Game 7 loss to the Hawks in the second round. “It is what it is. I guess there’s a good and a bad in the loss. Now I can take care of my body. That’s something that I thought hard about, playing on it, but ultimately I decided to do it. It was my choice and I’ve got to live with the results. At the end of the day, when it comes to my future, I’ll be fine.”
Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey declined to answer the question of whether Embiid required meniscus surgery on the night of the NBA draft, though he said the four-time All-Star “looks great” and the Sixers were “not concerned about him medically at all.”
While there’s inherent risk in a long-term, lucrative, fully guaranteed contract for a 7-foot center, such a commitment was necessary to ensure a player who’s already among the best in Sixers history stayed in the city.
Embiid has spoken frequently about his love for Sixers fans and desire to be with the franchise for his entire career.
“Fans are always there for me when I play, and I always mention that,” he said after scoring a career-high 50 points in February. “Playing in Philly, I have a lot of pride, and I play for the fans and I play for the city. All my goals when it comes to basketball are related to the city of Philadelphia.”