Some of the details of the injury protections built into Joel Embiid's contract have surfaced over at ESPN, and we can now see why the Sixers were comfortable doing this deal.

Essentially, if Embiid's career is derailed by a recurrence of the foot or back injuries he has battled, the Sixers will have the ability to convert the contract from a crippling amount of dead money to a manageable amount of dead money.

It's important to note that, according to ESPN, the contract is very specific about the injuries Embiid must suffer for the Sixers to get their out. So if he ends up having chronic knee problems, or fractures his other foot, or suffers an injury to his back different from the one he previously suffered, the Sixers are on the hook. All of those things present a significant risk for a player of his size and with his medical history. But they are risks for any player who signs a long-term deal.

The big concern with Embiid was the foot, and the Sixers have found a way to mitigate much of that risk.

Consider …

According to ESPN, if the Sixers waived Embiid after the 2018-19 season, he would still walk away with $84.2 million. Presumably, $25.75 million of that money would have already been paid to him by way of his salary in 2018-19. That would leave them owing him $58.45 million, which breaks down to about $14.61 million per year over the final four years of the deal. That's still a lot of dead money, but not nearly the crippling blow that $30 million a year would be. For the same amount that they would have been paying a healthy Embiid over the final four years of the deal ($125.3 million), they could pay a waived Embiid ($58.45 million) and then sign a replacement with the remaining $67 million (Ian Mahinmi, for instance, signed with the Wizards for four years and $64 million after the 2015-16 season.)

Embiid if healthy

2018-19: $25.75 million
2019-20: $27.81 million
2020-21: $30.04 million
2022-23: $32.44 million
2023-24: $35.03 million

Scenario 1: Embiid if waived after Year 1

2018-19: $25.75 million
2019-20: $14.61 million
2020-21: $14.61 million
2021-22: $14.61 million
2022-23: $14.61 million

But wait, it could get better. As we noted a couple of days ago, it isn't until 2020-21 that the Sixers have to worry about an injured Embiid's impact on their ability to sign a big-ticket free agent. That's the first year of any Ben Simmons and Dario Saric extension, and Year 3 of Embiid's extension. So the Sixers could have structured the contract in a way that rolls most of the remaining money into Year 2.

For instance, they could pay Embiid his full salary in Years 1 and 2, which would amount to $53.6 million. That would leave them paying him just $30 million out of their available cap dollars over the final three years of the deal:

Scenario 2: Embiid if waived after Year 1

2018-19: $25.75 million
2019-20: $27.81 million
2020-21: $10.2 million
2021-22: $10.2 million
2022-23: $10.2 million

Scenario 3: Embiid if waived after Year 2

2018-19: $25.75 million
2019-20: $27.81 million
2020-21: $14.87 million
2021-22: $14.87 million
2022-23: $14.87 million

Scenario 4: Embiid if waived after Year 3

2018-19: $25.75 million
2019-20: $27.81 million
2020-21: $30.04 million
2021-22: $14.7 million
2022-23: $14.7 million

Again, these are all just hypothetical structures based on ESPN's reporting of the contract details. But they should give you some concrete idea of how the injury protections as reported would benefit the Sixers if invoked.