PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There have been rumors circulating that Sixers center Joel Embiid has not yet been cleared for five-on-five activity.
94WIP’s Howard Eskin reported on Thursday that Embiid’s agent is seeking a new deal for his client, before he resumes playing basketball.
“Here is breaking news,” Eskin said on the 94WIP Midday Show. “I understand — and I was gonna sit on this and wait on it, but since you asked me the question I will answer it. He’s not ready for five-on-five play, according to the Sixers. But what I understand is, his agent wants a new contract before he — remember he’s eligible to get a new deal. Now, if you’re the Sixers you can’t give him a max deal until you see that he can play, how many games he can play during the season.
“But my understanding, part of the reason that they’re saying — whoever it is that is saying that he’s not ready for five-on-five play, is because — and Joel Embiid, I don’t think worries about the money, but they listen to their agents. And the agent wants a new contract.”
Embiid, 23, is eligible to sign an extension by Oct. 16, since he is currently on his rookie deal and entering into his fourth NBA season.
The Sixers face a difficult predicament, as the 7-foot-2 Embiid has played just 31 games in three seasons, dealing with multiple injuries. A max deal for Embiid would cost the Sixers approximately $25 million per season.
“Look, I’d just say we want Joel to be on the team for a long time,” Sixers owner Joshua Harris said via ESPN.com. “We want us all to grow old together. That’s the way I would put it.”
More reasonably, maybe both sides can agree on a contract extension slightly less than the $25 million annual max deal salary?