The deal is the most significant contract that the Sixers have handed out since the team signed Elton Brand as a free-agent before the 2008 season. Embiid is also the first piece of the Process Era that has been given a major financial commitment by the team.
I’m glad that the Sixers believe in Embiid and were able to get a long-term commitment in place before he was eligible for free agency, but there’s certainly a great deal of concern about giving this kind of money to a guy that has only played in 31 games in three years, and is likely to play most of this season with a minutes restriction.
That being said, this is a move the Sixers had to make. Embiid is a franchise player when healthy. By getting Embiid’s deal done, this shows that the organization is committed to winning moving forward, and that big deals will come for the likes of Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, and Dario Saric in time as well.
It should also be noted that the Sixers have apparently included salary cap protections in Embiid’s deal, protecting them should he miss a significant amount of time due to injury. Zach Lowe described the deal as one of the most complex in league history, so it will be interesting to see what exactly those protections are.
If Embiid can stay healthy, his long-term commitment makes the team even more attractive for potential free agents. They know that Embiid is going to be here for the long haul, and if he holds up his end of the bargain, they’ll want to come here as well.
But now the team can cross Embiid’s contract off of their to-do list. Now let’s hope the big man can finally put his injury troubles behind him, stay on the court, and win this team some games.