Magic forward Jonathan Isaac was in the middle of a season that you could argue was his breakout year. He’s always been talented and shown flashes, but this season everything was coming together. He was racking up steals and blocks on the defensive end while showing more competency on offense than he ever had previously. Unfortunately, his breakout season was cut short by a knee sprain on New Year’s Day and it appears he will not return in 2020.
Isaac was initially supposed to miss two months while the Magic re-evaluated him, but Orlando has traditionally been very cautious when it comes to injuries. Isaac had a foot injury his rookie year that kept him out the majority of that season. So it wasn’t too surprising when Jeff Weltman told a local Orlando radio station that he expects Isaac to miss the entire season. Via ESPN 580 Orlando.
Weltman was asked about Aaron Gordon and his fit with Jonathan Isaac and he responded with, “The fact is that we’re not able to assess that very closely because Jonathan is gone for the year.” This led to a response asking for clarification and Weltman confirmed that they feel Isaac is indeed out for the season.
“Yeah, I never want to say a thousand percent, but I think we’re not expecting him back, put it that way. And if we’re pleasantly surprised, so be it. But the fact of the matter is Jonathan you know, the longer you’re out, you’re gonna get deconditioned. And we don’t ever want to rush our guys back or put them in a position to get reinjured, God forbid. So we’re taking a very cautious approach, as we always do.”
This is a huge loss for a Magic team hoping to make a run at the playoffs. Not only because of how talented Isaac is, but due to the Magic’s severe lack of depth on the wing. Multiple key players have been in and out of the lineup this season. Al-Farouq Aminu is out for the entire season with a knee injury and Aaron Gordon has been battling a nagging leg injury most of the season. The Magic made a trade for James Ennis at the deadline to hopefully bring some depth to the wing, but nothing is going to replace an Isaac-caliber talent.