Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid’s extension proves upside is everything

CAMDEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25: Joel Embiid
CAMDEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25: Joel Embiid /

Joel Embiid is the face of the Philadelphia 76ers. Although he has only played in 31 games in his career, the five-year, $148 million extension that was just signed shows that his upside is just too great to ignore.

The Process will be around the Philadelphia 76ers for another five years, now that Joel Embiid has signed his hefty contract extension worth $148 million. It may seem like too much money to give a player with a long injury history along with a minimal amount of proven success, but the Sixers couldn’t let Embiid become a free agent.

More from Section 215

The NBA has gone through several years in a row where the cap space has risen, and in 2018, the cap will increase to $101 million. With so many other massive contracts being thrown around the league, giving $148 million to a player who has shown the upside to be one of the greatest two-way centers in league history doesn’t seem like a big deal. Eventually, Philadelphia will have to do the same with Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, so getting the Embiid extension out of the way now figures to prove vital for the future.

Contracts in today’s NBA are inflated, so paying Embiid $29 million per year when a role player like JJ Redick is making $23 million this year seems to be a great deal. It may seem like a great deal at the moment, but now it is up to Embiid to stay on the court and play at the caliber worthy of this contract. The upside of Embiid is mouthwatering, which is something Philadelphia couldn’t afford to lose.

Related Story: Simmons' strengths will mask Fultz's weaknesses

Embiid is the face of the Sixers, and has enough talent to be a future face of the NBA. Paying the big man with numerous injuries over the years so much money was the necessary evil needed to keep the core of this team together for the future. No to mention, this extension should pave the way for other young stars to sign major extensions, purely on upside alone. As long as he can stay on the court, Embiid should be worth every penny of this new deal.