Sports

Joel Embiid receives max contract after playing 31 games in 2 seasons

Joel Embiid receives max contract after playing 31 games in 2 seasons

Despite being a almost all-star level force when he did play last season - averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.5 blocks while shooting over 36 percent from three-point range - the roughly 700 minutes he logged over those 31 games weren't enough to earn him the votes necessary to win the league's rookie of the year award. Embiid and the Sixers agreed on a $148 million, five-year extension and it could increase even more if the 7-foot centre reaches certain incentives. But one thing should give any team pause: Through his first three National Basketball Association seasons, Embiid has played only 31 games - all a year ago. He's still hasn't played in a game after having what the Sixers called "minor" surgery more than six months ago to fix a meniscus tear in his left knee. "He's just scratching the surface". But if he can't stay healthy, the Sixers may come to regret this decision.

Sixers coach Brett Brown saw a difference in his team during the time Embiid was available last season and sees plenty of upside.

The Sixers know what they have in Embiid on the floor - an athletic, inside-out, physical specimen capable of defending the rim and taking over the game on offense. The 7-footer scored 20 points 19 times and became the first player in the shot clock era to average at least 20 points per game while playing less than 26 minutes per game, according to the Sixers. Even with Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz on the roster, Embiid is the obvious franchise centerpiece.

Both Woj and The Vertical's Shams Charania say the Sixers due have some protection.

But the flashes of brilliance have convinced Colangelo and ownership that Embiid was worth the risk.

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As a brief reminder of how this works, we here at TSS averaged rankings from 14 different staff members in order to get a composite list of the Philadelphia 76ers' best players, from No. 1 through No. 16. He does it with a defensive mindset.

Despite playing in just 31 games last season, Embiid's transcendent skills were obvious.

Mbah a Moute persuaded Embiid's parents to let him move 6,000 miles to Florida, and helped enrol him at Montverde Academy, one of the best high school programs in the country.

Heading into this campaign, the 23-year-old's health is still a concern as he's yet to play in a pre-season game and is doubtful to play in their opening night encounter against the Washington Wizards next week.