Joel Embiid hits $95 million minutes-played incentive after NBA's shortened season
At least one NBA player has reason to celebrate the shortened regular season. Joel Embiid, the tall man of the Philadelphia 76ers, has created a minute-by-minute incentive that guarantees him $ 95 million, according to Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski from ESPN.
As the league focuses on restarting, the NBA and NBPA have to resolve outstanding issues related to the shortened regular season. Both sides agreed to distribute performance bonuses and incentives through March 11, the day the NBA interrupted the game.
This agreement enabled Embiid to achieve its minute-by-minute incentive. In this way, Embiid guaranteed the last three years of his contract, which, according to the ESPN, will bring him around $ 95 million.
Embiid signed a five-year $ 148 million contract renewal in 2017 that included financial protection for the Sixers after Embiid suffered back or foot injuries at the end of his career. These safeguards are now controversial. Embiid has shown its longevity and its all-NBA production has actually oversized its contract.
It took Embiid 1,650 minutes to fully guarantee the contract this season, but it was spread across the Sixers' 65 games, which reduced demand to less than the 1,329 minutes that he had played that season.
If Embiid had played an average of 30.2 minutes per game in the last 17 games of the 76s, he would still have reached this threshold. If he had been injured, Embiid might just have missed this incentive.
If this particular incentive sounds extremely specific and unique, this is by design. The 26-year-old Embiid signed his five-year extension for $ 76 million at the 76s after only playing 76 games with the team. He missed his first two and a half years when dealing with foot injuries. To minimize this risk, the 76s included a minute-by-minute incentive in Embiid's contract. If Embiid stayed healthy for the next couple of seasons, he would guarantee his contract. But if he was injured, the 76ers could get out of the contract.
Gambling paid off for Embiid. Immediately after signing the extra time, Embiid played 127 games in the regular season over the next two seasons. He was well on the way to playing at least 50 games this season before the games were interrupted.
While that's a significant part of the money, Embiid has proven that it's worth it. After a late start in his NBA career, Embiid completed the All-Star team three seasons in a row and was twice a member of the All-Defensive and All-NBA team.
Joel Embiid remained healthy after an injury-related start to his NBA career. (Photo by Rich Schultz / Getty Images)
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