The Philadelphia 76ers have reportedly agreed to sign center Joel Embiid to a five-year, $148 million deal. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was first to break the news on Monday.

Report: Joel Embiid, Sixers Agree to Contract Extension

Embiid’s new deal will keep him with the Sixers until the end of the 2021-22 season. If left unsigned, Embiid would have become a restricted free agent next summer. As a player with a bad injury history, Embiid’s deal includes some salary cap protection for Philadelphia, per Adrian Wojnarowski. The extension will kick in at the beginning of next season.

Averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and a stellar 2.5 blocks per game, Embiid proved he can be a key player when healthy. When available, Embiid is a force to be reckoned with, putting up All-Star calibre numbers whilst playing just 25 minutes per game.

Playing just 31 games in his NBA career, this deal is a huge risk for Philadelphia. Drafted in 2014, Embiid wouldn’t play a game in the NBA until the start of last season. The Sixers see the Cameroonian as their centrepiece, with the team willing to take a big chance by giving him this new contract. If Embiid can stay healthy, this new deal looks great but if his health problems re-occur, the Sixers will be left in a difficult situation.

Embiid is the first big name member of the 2014 draft class to be re-signed, with the likes of Andrew Wiggins and Marcus Smart rumoured to be re-signed long-term in the coming days.

The Sixers believe they have found their core. Alongside Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, Embiid is now the face of a franchise that has shown unbelievable patience. The term “Trust The Process” has become a common phrase in Philly, with Embiid leading the way. This team’s future is uncertain, to say the least, with the direction of a franchise being decided by the health of one big personality.

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