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Will Jonathan Isaac finally be back after 2 white seasons?

A young talent with an intriguing profile, Jonathan Isaac unfortunately did not reach his full potential, the fault of an extremely capricious physique which made him miss the last two seasons in their entirety, but not only. Given the litigation that JI may have with injuries, we are entitled to wonder if the freak will find even a part of his level.

Jonathan Isaac is only 24 years old but already has the medical history of a retired sportsman. First at the ankles, but more recently at the knees. We have seen “Judah” more often in a suit on the Magic bench than on the floor in uniform. Now let’s do some counting: 27 games played during his rookie season in 2017-18, 75 played during his sophomore season in 2018-19, which remains his career high, 34 played during the 2019 season- 20 partly shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plus 5 in the Orlando bubble. The following ? Two completely white seasons and a rehabilitation that has not ended, the number 1 of the Magic even relapsed, injuring his hamstrings during this period. The decision-makers of the franchise have therefore decided that Jonathan Isaac will only return during the 2022-23 season, and we completely understand the caution vis-à-vis this type of slender and often injury-prone profile. For example, Brandon Ingram also didn’t escape cascading injuries even though he was luckier than the native of Naples, Florida. The latest example? Chet Holmgren, a profile that inspires as much fantasy as fear, who has monster potential but who is already out for his rookie season because of a nasty foot injury after crossing swords with LeBron James at the Seattle Pro- Am.

However, not enough to undermine the confidence that Magic decision makers may have in their nugget, given that the player extended for 4 years and 80 million dollars at the end of 2020, barely a few months after his rupture of the cruciate ligaments. Fortunately all the same, the contract was deliberately designed for a guy who has been collecting ailments since the start of his career and who would have liked to be able to benefit from a Carte Vitale. If he missed the entirety of last season, Jonathan Isaac saw his contract become partially guaranteed. So that’s what happened, since for 2022-23 16 million out of the 17.4 planned are still guaranteed, while for 2023-24 only 7.4 million are guaranteed, while the 2024 season -25 is no longer guaranteed at all. We imagine that this also encourages caution, given the investment placed on Isaac, but also his potential, he who represents a real nightmare for opposing attackers thanks to a clever mix of agility and stature. With around 1 steal and 1.5 blocks per career game, we’re talking about a potential legitimate candidate for the DPOY. Such a profile, much appreciated by GM John Hammond, cannot be put aside, even less at more than 17 bricks per season, especially since the Magic will need their endless arms and their defense to be able to stop opposing scorers.

Unfortunately, as mentioned above, such a profile is also prone to injuries, and while his physique still needed to be fleshed out, Jonathan Judah Isaac of his full name was slowed down in full ascent. He still represents the future of the Magic but he must above all be managed with care by his coach and all the staff. If at the time, his starting place seemed indisputable in position 3 or 4, the situation has not been quite the same since the selection of Kaiser Franz Wagner in the 2021 Draft with the 8th choice of the Bulls, then that of the Italian-American straight out of Duke, Paolo Banchero, with the first choice in 2022, who should see these places in the 5 major rightfully theirs. However, this is far from being a bad thing for Jonathan Isaac who will be able to enter his season quietly coming off the bench, nibbling a little fifteen minutes to start, before potentially being able to aspire to more. In any case, it is not the obligation of result that will stifle the Orlando team, since the main objective of the season remains the 2023 Draft with the French unicorn Victor Wembanyama or the dragster in sight. Scott Henderson. The development and return to competition of the 2m11 winger will be part of the Magic’s concerns, namely to develop its core of young people, including Isaac, and teach them to play together.

His comeback may not be expected right away. But what is certain is that Jonathan Isaac will be ready for the start of the coming season. His physique is still a thorny subject, and it will be necessary to go there step by step and scrupulously respect a very strict process. But the career of the winger, who we remember, is only 24 years old, is not at all over despite the permanent doubts about his solidity.

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