Sixers news: Joel Embiid signs massive four-year extension

Joel Embiid, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Joel Embiid, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

In what is easily the biggest move of the offseason, the Sixers have signed Joel Embiid to a four-year, $196 million max extension that will keep him on the team through 2027. Per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the deal includes a player option in the final season and is fully guaranteed. The new deal kicks in for the 2023-24, and will give Embiid a total of $261 million over the next six years.

Notably, this contract does not include the same catastrophic injury provisions that defined Embiid’s last max extension. Embiid has not missed more than 11 consecutive games in a single season since 2017-18.

The reigning MVP runner-up has all the leverage here. He in the Sixers’ one-way ticket to championship contention, and there was no reason for Daryl Morey to get cute with the contract. He is one of the 10 best players in the NBA, and arguably the Sixers’ best player on both sides of the ball.

The Sixers have Joel Embiid locked up long-term. What’s next?

Philadelphia still has a busy offseason of Ben Simmons trade negotiations ahead. While there’s a real chance Simmons is back with the team next season, the Sixers would undoubtedly prefer to find a suitable trade partner before the season begins. It’s a matter of when, not if Simmons gets traded.

Some will inevitably express skepticism over paying Embiid into his mid-30s, but it’s a quite simple equation — Embiid is the Sixers’ best chance to win a championship over the next six years. If the Sixers were to get stingy and let him walk, the odds of a title before 2027 fall dramatically. Even if Embiid gets hurt, or he experiences some precipitous decline in the later years, the contract will have absolutely been the right move. You build around all-time players when you have them on the roster and do everything in your power to keep them on the roster.

Last season, Embiid finished second in MVP voting, averaging 28.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists on .513/.377/.859 shooting splits. His numbers were steady in the playoffs, too. Some would argue he was the best individual player of the first two rounds, despite Philadelphia’s eventual collapse.

The Sixers have made the signing official, and Embiid has already voiced his excitement.

Embiid’s commitment to Philadelphia has made him a fan favorite from the very jump. He’s one of the most talented players ever to grace a Sixers jersey, and hopefully he will, in fact, retire here. The Sixers have fumbled the roster around Embiid for years. His loyalty in spite of that is special.

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