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Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas' Contract Options Exercised by 76ers

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2016

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 26: Jahlil Okafor #8 of the Philadelphia 76ers slaps hands with Joel Embiid #21 against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center on October 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. The Thunder defeated the 76ers 103-97. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers have picked up the third-year option on center Jahlil Okafor and the fourth-year options on center Joel Embiid and shooting guard Nik Stauskas.

The team's director of public relations, Michael Preston, passed along the press release Sunday:

Michael Preston @preston76

#Sixers officially announce team has exercised contract options on Embiid, Stauskas and Okafor. https://t.co/aZyMllR8wr

That trio is among the young core the Sixers are building around, which also includes 2016 top overall pick Ben Simmons (currently out of action with a fractured right foot), 2013 No. 6 overall pick Nerlens Noel and 2014 No. 12 pick Dario Saric.

Embiid, 22, has been the story of Philadelphia's season thus far. After missing his first two seasons due to injury, the Cameroonian has flashed transcendent potential, averaging 17.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in just 19.0 minutes per game.

"He's very gifted, a very talented player," Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard said Saturday after playing against Embiid, per Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly. "I wish him nothing but the best. I'm going to keep pushing him so he can be great."

Okafor, meanwhile, was arguably Philadelphia's best player last season. The 20-year-old averaged 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks during his rookie season, although injuries held him to 53 games. Okafor was limited throughout the preseason as he recovered from a knee injury and has been coming off the bench behind Embiid this year.

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When Noel returns from a knee injury of his own, the Sixers will have a logjam at center, leading to speculation that one of Okafor or Noel could be traded. Richaun Holmes, 6'8", has also flashed potential in limited action.

Finally, Stauskas has been somewhat of a disappointment since he was dealt to the Sixers from the Sacramento Kings in July 2015, averaging 8.5 points while shooting just 32.6 percent from beyond the arc and 38.5 percent from the field last season. He's given the Sixers a spark off the bench in two games this season, however, averaging 9.5 points and shooting 53.8 percent.

Per Spotrac, Embiid will make $6,100,266 in 2017-18, Okafor will earn $4,995,120 and Stauskas will get $3,807,147.

    

You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

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