In what can’t be considered too much of a surprise, star Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has been locked up for the long-term.
In extension negotiations with the Sixers since their early departure from the 2021 NBA Playoffs, Embiid inked a four-year, $196 million deal with Philadelphia on Tuesday. It was the maximum allowed under NBA rules for the reigning NBA MVP finalist.
Now that Philadelphia front office head Daryl Morey has Joel Embiid locked up long-term, the focus turns to fellow All-Star Ben Simmons.
Rumors have persisted for the past several weeks that the 76ers were going to move Simmons after he put up a stinker of a postseason performance. That was magnified recently with information that the point guard had cut off communication with the 76ers’ organization, Joel Embiid included. Below, we look at what the Embiid extension means for the franchise in Philadelphia and Mr. Simmons.
Philadelphia 76ers must optimize Joel Embiid’s prime
At 27 years old and with a history of injury issues, there’s no telling how long Embiid is going to play at his current level. The former No. 3 pick was absolutely dominant in 2020-21, averaging 28.5 points and 10.6 rebounds on 51% shooting from the field. It was the best performance of his career.
With that said, we must note that Embiid has played in a grand total of 260 games since being selected back in 2014. He missed his first two seasons to a knee injury and is averaging 52 games per season since.
Philadelphia knows full well that Embiid’s prime could come to a conclusion sooner rather than later. It must optimize said prime following a premature exit in the second round of the NBA Playoffs.