Joel Embiid Signs Supermax Extension
Joel Embiid has signed a four-year, $196 million supermax extension with the Philadelphia 76ers, as it will keep him in the “City of Brotherly Love” until the 2026-27 season. The contract is fully guaranteed, and Embiid has a player option in the final year of his deal.
Embiid became eligible for the supermax contract after finishing second to Nikola Jokic in the MVP race. Embiid also made the All-NBA second team.
There is an argument to be made that Embiid would’ve taken home MVP honors if he didn’t miss 21 games, as Jokic played all 72 games in the shortened 2020-21 NBA season.
Embiid helped lead the Sixers to the best record in the Eastern Conference, and when you consider that the goliath of a team in the Brooklyn Nets plays in the same conference, that is no small feat.
However, the Sixers underwhelmed big time in last season’s playoffs, as the Atlanta Hawks bested them in seven games. Still, the onus isn’t fully on Embiid for how the Sixers failed to reach at least the Conference Finals. If you were to ask a Sixers fan, they would tell you the onus was basically on Ben Simmons.
Still just 27 years old, Embiid is the epitome of what it takes to be a great modern-day center in the NBA. He possesses great post-scoring abilities, mirroring to near perfection Hakeem Olajuwon’s “Dream Shake.” Additionally, Embiid can knock down the 3-pointer and drive to the rim with reckless abandon to throw down some powerful dunks.
Defensively, Embiid has been anchoring the paint for the Sixers as well, as he’s been a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year numerous times throughout his career.
Philadelphia has their best player since Allen Iverson, but the next step for them will be to continue to add talent around their superstar talent in order for them to reach the Finals.
Damian Lillard has been widely rumored to end up in Philly, but it may take a little bit of patience on the Sixers’ end to acquire the perennial MVP candidate, as Lillard hasn’t formally requested a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers as of yet.
If and when Lillard requests a trade out of Portland, the Sixers will immediately have arguably the best asset to offer the Trail Blazers, and that is Simmons, who can still be a superstar player in the right situation.
But the Simmons-Embiid pairing is probably not going to work much longer, as Embiid’s dominance in the paint clogs the lane for Simmons to drive in and do some damage, and Simmons possesses no ability to shoot the three.
If the Sixers are able to land Lillard, then they will become an immediate threat to take down the Nets and dethrone the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks team next season.
The Sixers currently have the seventh-best odds to win it all next season at +1800, so unless they land Lillard, it is extremely unlikely for them to end up winning the Finals next season.