Return of Embiid for Sixers will air on NBC Sports Philadelphia tonight

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts during an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in Philadelphia. Embiid's numbers are the best in the rookie class. Yet his rookie of the year chances see

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts during an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in Philadelphia. Embiid's numbers are the best in the rookie class. Yet his rookie of the year chances see

"What's more, if Embiid played a minimum of 1,650 regular-season minutes in three consecutive years during the extension, or three out of four including the 2017-18 season, those benchmarks would eliminate the possibility of a reduction in the contract, league sources said". He's a revolutionary, generational talent, both on the court and on Twitter and Instagram. Off the hardwood, he's charming and gregarious, using social media savvy to rise to his status as one of the league's most popular players.

Barring any setbacks, Embiid, who missed the team's first three exhibitions, should be healthy enough to practice at KU, then play during his return trip to the Sprint Center, where he scored 18 points, grabbed six rebounds blocked four shots and had three steals in the Jayhawks' 80-63 victory over New Mexico on December 14, 2013.

Embiid, 23, has suited up in just 31 games since being picked third overal in the 2014 NBA Draft. Embiid has only played in 31 games, all of which had a minute restriction.

The 76ers have put their trust in Joel Embiid.

On Monday night, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Sixers had inked their oft-injured, yet potential-laden center Joel Embiid to a five-year, $148 million rookie scale max contract extension. However, signing Embiid to a max contract extension is as much about the hope that he stays healthy as it is continuing to brew the culture that their franchise center has helped cultivate, despite not actually being on the court. The Sixers would've definitely matched any offer sheet given to Embiid, but why even risk it getting to that point with him?

The timing is peculiar.

Russia Signs S-400 Missiles Deal With Saudi Arabia
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That's the risk Philadelphia is taking, betting on Embiid's health and his ability to be not only the best center in the National Basketball Association, but one of the best centers in decades.

The Sixers, though, are betting that he can. He averaged 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds. He has an easy jumper from three-point range - something every team seeks in its big men now - and is capable of going to work on the low block and scoring effectively.

Sixers coach Brett Brown saw a difference in his team during the time Embiid was available last season and sees plenty of upside. Those guys don't come along very often - and especially not when paired with an incredibly likable personality that has turned Embiid into a sensation in Philadelphia.

The Sixers are counting on Embiid and No. 1 overall picks Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz to carry the team from the bottom of the league into an Eastern Conference playoff team.

Finally, the organization might have the argument that his worth could be more while healthy, and this move saves them money later.

However, the 76ers apparently took drastic steps toward protecting themselves from a serious Embiid injury, from a financial standpoint.

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