Joel Embiid gets $95 million of his contract guaranteed due to shortened season
The NBA stands to lose a significant amount of money from its shortened season, but Joel Embiid is one player who may have actually benefitted from the sports world coming to a screeching halt three months ago.
Embiid signed a five-year, $148 million maximum contract extension with the Philadelphia 76ers back in 2017. Because of the star big man’s lengthy injury history, a clause was put into the contract stating that Embiid must play a certain number of minutes in order for the final three years and $95 million of the deal to become guaranteed. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne noted this week, Embiid has officially met the minutes-played criteria because of the shortened season.
The NBA and NBA Players Association recently finalized a deal that states all performance bonuses and incentives will be prorated using March 11 as the end date of the regular season. Embiid needed to play 1,650 minutes this season to fully guarantee his contract, but the minimum was lowered to below the 1,329 minutes he has already played when prorated over 65 games.
Embiid has averaged 30.2 minutes per game this season, and he would have hit the original minimum if he continued to play a similar number of minutes over the 76ers’ final 17 games. There’s always a possibility of an injury, however, and that is now something the 26-year-old does not have to worry about.
Of course, the 76ers aren’t upset to have Embiid under contract for three more years. The big man has been named an All-Star in three straight seasons and averaged 24.1 points and 11.5 rebounds per game since not playing at all his first two-plus years in the league. He’s even made some brave dietary sacrifices to remain in shape, so paying him is certainly worth the risk.