Sixers center Joel Embiid officially signed a five-year, maximum salary contract extension this week. Based on the latest cap projections, Embiid would earn $146.45MM over the life of a standard five-year, maximum salary extension, assuming the default language remains unchanged. However, Embiid’s unusual agreement with Philadelphia could result in him earning significant more or less than that amount.
As Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks of ESPN explain, Embiid’s deal is “essentially guaranteed,” but offers the Sixers protection in the event that the young center suffers a major injury that’s related to one of his previous health problems.
Here are the highlights from Wojnarowski and Marks, who are themselves recapping the highlights from Embiid’s 35-page-plus contract:
- If Embiid sustains a “contractually agreed upon injury” that results in him missing 25+ games or playing fewer than 1,650 minutes during a given season, the Sixers would have the option of waiving him and reducing the amount of overall guaranteed money he’s owed.
- The specific injuries covered in the contract are related to areas that have problematic for Embiid in the past, like his feet and back. If he were to miss 25+ games with – for instance – a wrist injury, the Sixers wouldn’t have the option of releasing him for cost savings.
- If Embiid were to suffer an injury that met the above criteria and the Sixers wanted to waive him, the team would still be on the hook for the following amounts:
- $84.2MM if waived after 2018/19.
- $98.2MM if waived after 2019/20.
- $113.3MM if waived after 2020/21.
- $129.4MM if waived after 2021/22.
- If Embiid plays 1,650 minutes for three consecutive years – or for three out of four years (including 2017/18) – during the extension, the Sixers would lose their right to create cost savings by waiving him.
- If Embiid earns First Team All-NBA honors or is voted NBA MVP in 2017/18, his starting salary to begin the extension would be worth 30% of the cap instead of 25%. Based on the latest cap projections, that would put the five-year value at $175.74MM.
Overall, while the agreement offers the Sixers some protection, it’s a very favorable deal for Embiid. He’s essentially guaranteed at least $84.2MM, and it would be shocking if he doesn’t earn more than that — the Sixers would have to waive him just one year into the extension for his earnings to be that low.