The Philadelphia 76ers officially signed 23-year-old big man Joel Embiid to a five-year, $148 million extension on Tuesday. Despite playing just 31 games since being drafted in 2014, Embiid has shown the potential to be a generational talent and with the amount of cap room the Sixers' have, the money was never really an issue.

It seems to be a mixed bag as to how people feel about the contract. Some believe that you had to pay Embiid to keep him from leaving and excelling with another team. Others think that the contract is too big a risk and could end up like Ryan Howard's deal with the Phillies. It was mentioned originally once the news broke of the deal that there were protections in the contract, where if Embiid suffered a significant injury, the entire $148 million wouldn't be guaranteed. Details on those exact protections were released today and explained in a column on ESPN by Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks.

Here's how a perfect storm of calamity would have to unfold for Embiid to earn any less than the full $146.5 million: Across each of the final four seasons of the extension, ending with the 2022-23 season, the 76ers could waive Embiid for a financial benefit if he's lost because of a contractually agreed-upon injury that causes him to miss 25 or more regular-season games and if he plays fewer than 1,650 minutes, league sources said.

Only previous injuries suffered by Embiid (back, knee, foot) would be grounds for the Sixers having the ability to waive him. Even then, he would have to miss 25 games or more and play fewer than 1,650 minutes for them to do so. What that means is that if Joel breaks his wrist or his arm and misses an extended period of time, the Sixers have no way to get out of the deal. Also, Woj goes on to say in the ESPN article that if Embiid plays 1,650 regular-season minutes in three consecutive years during the extension, or three out of four including the 2017-18 season, the injury protections are more or less null and void.

Here's a breakdown of how much the team would still owe Embiid if they decided to waive him after the following seasons:

  • $84.2MM if waived after 2018-19.
  • $98.2MM if waived after 2019-20.
  • $113.3MM if waived after 2020-21.
  • $129.4MM if waived after 2021-22.

Embiid's extension will go into effect prior to the 2018-19 season, when he'll earn $25.3 million, an eight percent increase in salary that will be incurred each season through the 2022-23 season. Joel can make as much as $178 million if he meets the super maximum criteria, which would mean winning MVP during the 2017-18 season or by being named to the All-NBA first team.

Whether you like the contract or not, Embiid is in Philadelphia to stay. Tonight, he looks to make his preseason debut against Brooklyn as the Sixers visit the Nets.

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