It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster, but Joel Embiid has indeed lived up to his immense promise on the basketball court and become one of the biggest stars in the NBA. After dealing with injuries early in his career, Embiid eventually blossomed into a perennial all-star. When he took home MVP honors in 2024, it was a sign that Embiid had reached the level many have expected him to one day reach for the past decade.
Now that he’s reached the top, Embiid figures to stay there. In addition to being one of the favorites for MVP for the foreseeable future, Embiid is also helping to make the 76ers championship contender. And with his unmatched skills, it’s no wonder that fans are flocking to the DraftKings sportsbook to bet on him and the 76ers as they aim for championship glory.
Embiid has always had an edge on the basketball court because of his impressive size. He’s listed at seven feet tall and 280 pounds. Embiid also has a wingspan of 7’5’’, which is one of the longest in the NBA. He also wears size 17 shoes.
In many ways, Embiid is not the typical NBA player. He was born in Cameroon and spent his childhood playing soccer and volleyball rather than basketball. It wasn’t until Embiid was 15 that he started playing basketball. But due to his size, he was quickly discovered by former NBA player Luc Mbah Moute, a fellow Cameroon native who mentored Embiid.
When he was 16, Embiid moved to the U.S. so that he could pursue a pro basketball career. Despite being inexperienced compared to other high schools, Embiid was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and chose to play college basketball at Kansas. In 28 games during his freshman season with the Jayhawks, Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game. He earned Second-Team All-Big 12 honors and was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. However, a stress fracture in his back ended Embiid’s season early, keeping him from playing in the Big 12 Tournament or the NCAA Tournament.
Despite the injury that ended his college career early and a broken navicular bone in his foot that required surgery, the 76ers drafted Embiid third overall in the 2014 NBA Draft. He ended up missing the entire 2014-15 season and then sat out the entire 2015-16 season as well after suffering a setback. Embiid didn’t make his NBA debut until the 2016-17 season, and even then, he was limited to 31 games, although he averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game, earning a spot on the All-Rookie First Team.
The 31 games he played during the 2016-17 season were all the 76ers needed to see to be convinced that Embiid would one day fulfill his promise as one of the NBA’s top stars. Right before, the start of the 2017-18 season, Philadelphia gave him the rookie maximum extension worth $148 million over five years. Embiid proceeded to average 22.9 points and 11 rebounds per game that season, becoming an all-star for the first time in his career.
From there, Embiid continued to take his game to the next level. He’s been an all-star every year since 2018, averaging a double-double in every season but his rookie year. Embiid took another step forward during the 2021-22 season when he led the NBA in scoring for the first time, averaging 30.6 points per game. He repeated that feat during the 2022-23 campaign, averaging 33.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game on his way to winning MVP. However, the one thing that Embiid has struggled to do is lead the 76ers to playoff success. During Embiid’s career, the 76ers have yet to make it beyond the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Despite not leading Philadelphia to postseason success, Embiid has accomplished a great deal in his career despite not turning 30 until March 2024. Not including the two full seasons he missed due to injury, Embiid has played seven seasons in the NBA. During that time, he has been an all-star six times and won two scoring titles. He’s also been a member of the All-NBA Second Team four times and the All-NBA First Team once.
Salary and Net Worth
As of 2024, Embiid has an estimated net worth between $35 and $40 million. His most recent contract extension came in August 2021 when the 76ers gave him a four-year extension worth $196 million. During the 2024-24 season, he has a guaranteed salary of $47.6 million. That salary increases to $51.4 million in 2024-25 and $55.2 million in 2025-26. Embiid also has a player option for the 2026-27 season worth $59 million. He also has several endorsement deals with companies like Under Amour, Amazon, EA, Mountain Dew, and others. Between his salary and those endorsement deals, Embiid’s net worth should increase significantly in the future.
In 2018, Embiid began a relationship with Brazilian model Anne de Paula. She is best known for winning Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Model Search competition in 2017, earning a spot in the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Surprisingly, the two reportedly bonded initially over soccer rather than basketball. In 2020, Embiid and de Paula welcomed their first child, a boy named Arthur, who was named after Embiid’s late brother, who passed away in a car crash in 2014. In 2024, Embiid and de Paula got married with their son Arthur by their side.