Philadelphia 76ers fans will be trusting the process for years to come.
The team announced Tuesday it had come to an agreement on a five-year contract extension with Joel Embiid after Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Monday that the 76ers and the center reached an agreement on a deal worth $148 million.
76ers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in the team release:
"Joel Embiid is a transformative young talent that you rarely come across in our game. Joel is only scratching the surface, but he has all the potential and promise to go down as one of the all-time greats to wear a Sixers jersey. Ownership's willingness to extend this contract reflects our collective belief in Joel Embiid and a reinforced commitment to building a championship-level basketball program."
Wojnarowski reported the two reached a five-year, $148 million designated rookie-scale max extension. The Kansas product has appeared in 31 total games since the 76ers selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft.
Wojnarowski explained "the designated exception—termed 'The Super Max'—allows Embiid to earn a higher percentage of the salary cap—and potentially millions of dollars more—if he meets criteria over the course of the deal." The criteria includes winning the Defensive Player of the Year or MVP as well as making All-NBA teams.
"If Embiid meets the supermax criteria, he could earn as much as $178 million on the contract," Wojnarowski wrote.
Despite his head-turning talent, the primary storyline in Embiid's early career has been his injuries. He missed his first two seasons because of foot injuries and was limited to 31 games in 2016-17 in part due to a knee injury.
Philadelphia had those injuries in mind with this extension, as Wojnarowski reported it includes some salary-cap protection for the team if he suffers another serious setback.
Embiid's potential was on full display last season when he earned a first-team All-Rookie nod with 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. He is one of the primary figures from the organization's rebuild and a reason for optimism as it looks to reach the postseason for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign.
The combination of Embiid, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz and Dario Saric could have the 76ers competing for playoff spots throughout the center's extension, but he needs to prove he can stay healthy first.