Remember earlier this summer when Joel Embiid was everywhere?
The Sixers' big man — after receiving successful knee surgery — was in New Jersey for the NBA Draft lottery, at a soccer match in London, in Miami for the MLB Home Run Derby, in Los Angeles to present at the ESPYs and in Africa for a exhibition game.
But he hasn't tweeted in over a week, hasn't posted on Instagram in more than a month and, to the chagrin of Sixers fans Wednesday afternoon, wasn't shown at the Sixers' practice facility in Camden with other Sixers' gym rats.
@JoelEmbiid hey saw you haven't tweeted in over a week and it's been a while on IG too. You okay mah dude? 😰🙏— Slippin Jimmy (@_SlippinJimmy) September 6, 2017
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— ✨MrJustTheFacts✨ (@Fatir_jumal2) September 6, 2017
For those asking about health of Joel Embiid: Sixers have not released any info. At latest, we'll know status on the 25th.— Jon Johnson (@jonjohnsonwip) September 6, 2017
Of course, none of these tweets mean anything. The Sixers don't report as a team to training camp until later this month. But the absense of Embiid from Philly, and from social media is conspicuious. Is he fully healthy? Will he be ready to go when the season starts in October?
In addition to these health-related questions Embiid's contract status is also one of great speculation. Embiid has one year left on his rookie deal and a team option for around $8 million for 2018-19. After that he is a free agent. It is unlikely it will reach that point, as many surmise Embiid will get a contract offer this season but the question is whether he will be offered a less than max deal before the season starts — risking the unknown and possibly further injury or a letdown sophomore campaign — or if Philly waits to see him add to his body of work and risk potentially paying more for him in a max deal next offseason.
Even when he vanishes from Philly and from social media he's still the center of attention in the city that loves The Process.