Would the Sixers have done a five-year, $148 million Joel Embiid deal if they had no salary cap insurance and lingering health concerns?

Of course not.

That’s why we need more details on the figure first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, a designated rookie scale max extension for a guy who has only played 31 NBA games.

The Vertical’s Shams Charania later tweeted, then deleted, that the contract is only 50% guaranteed, which would be an incredibly ideal arrangement for the Sixers if their star center gets hurt again. Woj didn’t mention that 50% number, but reported that the deal “will include some salary cap protection” should Embiid miss a certain amount of playing time.

We can sit here and speculate about the fine print, but unless the guaranteed number is higher than expected, I can only see positives coming from each new bit of information that becomes public. We’ve got incentive for the player and protection for the franchise.

My knee-jerk reaction is that this is a risk you have to take.

I don’t think this is Greg Oden or Andrew Bynum 2.0, namely because Embiid is better than the former and cares exponentially more than the latter. Bynum didn’t really want to be here in the first place. I’d rather gamble on a guy who can be a centerpiece on a burgeoning young team for years to come, instead of an “outsider” who already had a ring when he came to town and didn’t seem that interested in basketball anyway.

Furthermore, it’s an on-brand move that appeals to process trusters and casual Sixer fans alike.

We’ve wondered whether or not Bryan Colangelo will execute with Sam Hinkie-provided resources or take the team down a different path. This is a commitment to the face of the rebuild, a guy who probably bridges the gap between younger process supporters and older fans who might not have been totally on board with the movement. You can dislike the process and dislike the contract extension, but can anyone dislike Joel Embiid? We’re talking about a guy who could be an all-time Philadelphia great if his career pans out.

Anyway, if the Sixers had waited before ultimately deciding to pursue another strategy, what exactly would that be? There’s no replacement for Embiid in free agency. How many skilled seven-footers are out there? Even if you draft the third coming of Christ, you’re talking about breaking in another rookie when Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons are in years two or three of their development. An underrated facet of the process was the idea that assets would be pulled together at the same time to take a real stab at a championship.

It wasn’t about developing one guy, then the second guy, then the third. It was about trying to create a young core that could grow and learn as a unit. That’s one of the reasons why the Sixers were willing to move on from Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel and play the long game instead, because it was about winning a title, not just getting better.

That was the whole point.

The process wasn’t created to get the Sixers into the playoffs, it was created to compile the assets necessary to compete for a championship.

Not extending Embiid would’ve been the most risk-averse decision an NBA team could’ve made. Where else are you putting that money? Are you overpaying for Tim Mozgov or Al Horford? There’s risk in chasing high-priced mercenaries, too. Everything comes with some degree of uncertainty.

But a healthy Embiid gets you closer to a championship, and if you’re not winning it all, you’re not winning shit. The 10-72 Sixers won the same amount of trophies as the 48-34 Hawks a few years back. Philadelphians who have experienced one championship parade since 1983 should be able to appreciate that.

I bet the average Eagles fan would trade 10 steps back for 11 steps forward, assuming that final step is Carson Wentz carrying the Vince Lombardi trophy to the top of the Art Museum with a cheesesteak in his other hand.

You can either try and fail, or not try at all and spin first-round playoff exits into moral victories.

Extending Joel Embiid is a risky move, but walking away from him would have been a loser move.