Orlando Magic F Jonathan Isaac is not expected to play in the 2020-21 season, team president Jeff Weltman announced Monday. Isaac tore his ACL during the seeding round in the NBA bubble during the season restart. He was ruled out for the remainder of the season and had to undergo surgery. Usually, the recovery time for a torn ACL is lengthy, so the Magic aren’t taking any chances with Isaac playing next season.
Magic President Jeff Weltman ends all doubt, if any existed: “We will not have Jonathan Isaac next season.”— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) August 31, 2020
Isaac had returned to the Magic before the seeding round after sustaining a knee injury earlier in the season. He had enough time with the layover from Covid-19 to get healthy enough to return. His return was short-lived unfortunately. The promising young forward will now have an uphill battle to get back on the court for the 2021-22 season. We don’t know when next season will start, so perhaps there’s a chance this statement from the president doesn’t hold true. We know the start of next season will likely be pushed back, possibly even into 2021.
While it’s a tough pill to swallow, the Magic may need to start planning as if Isaac won’t be the same player again. It’s tough to recover from a torn ACL, let alone a handful of injuries early in your career. The Magic have the 15th pick in the NBA Draft and could look to add another wing player to potentially be insurance if Isaac never gets back to being an above-average defender. There really aren’t any immediate options to replace Isaac on the roster unless you believe in James Ennis or Gary Clark long-term.