As good as the Sixers expect Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz to be, Joel Embiid is the keystone of the franchise.
Now he's paid accordingly.
The Sixers and Joel Embiid have agreed to a five-year, $148 million extension, a league source has told NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jessica Camerato.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news.
The Sixers and Embiid had until Oct. 16 to agree to an extension; otherwise, Embiid would have become a restricted free agent following the season. Had that occurred, other teams could make offers, but the Sixers would have the right to match. Now, there will be no offers.
Per Wojnarowksi, the deal allows Embiid to earn the maximum permitted under the rookie scale, called the designated exception or "Super Max." Embiid could earn up to $30 million (for a total of $178 million) if he reaches certain incentives (e.g. Defensive Player of the Year or MVP). The Sixers will receive salary cap protection should Embiid miss significant times because of injury.
Embiid missed his first two NBA seasons with injuries and played only 31 games last season. Still recovering from a knee injury, Embiid has yet to play this preseason but has begun playing 5-on-5.
Including Monday's game against Boston, the Sixers have three more preseason games before the regular season opener Oct. 18 at Washington.