Jonathan Isaac to Miss 2021 Season for the Magic

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  • The Orlando Magic announced on Monday that Jonathan Isaac will miss the 2021 NBA season.
  • Isaac tore the ACL of his left knee during the seeding games played in Orlando.
  • The 22-year old was the 6th overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft by the Magic.

Jonathan Isaac was having a breakout year when his season ended prematurely after suffering an ACL tear. Without a key contributor like him, the Orlando Magic exited the 2020 NBA Playoffs after losing 4-1 to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. But if that wasn’t bad enough for Orlando, the Magic have announced that Isaac will not be playing during the 2021 NBA season.

The NBA’s current season isn’t even over yet and it’s not yet set in stone when the 2021 season will begin. However, Isaac’s injury was so bad that he will have to rehabilitate for an entire campaign. The sad news was revealed by Orlando Magic president Jeff Weltman to the media on Monday:

Injury-Plagued Season

The 2019-20 season was not kind to Isaac, injury-wise. The 22-year old forward had to be taken off the court via stretcher on New Year’s Day against the Washington Wizards when he landed awkwardly. He was later ruled out for the remained of the season with a “posterior lateral corner injury and a medical bone contusion”. However, because the season went into a hiatus for four months, he was able to return to action for the Magic.

But in only Orlando’s second seeding game in the bubble against the Sacramento Kings, Isaac got seriously hurt again. The injury happened when he drove the lane and tried to split two defenders with a jump stop. His knee buckled and he collapsed to the flor. Isaac immediately grabbed his left knee and grimaced in pain. He was taken off the floor via wheelchair and was later diagnosed with an ACL tear.

Isaac looks like he’s going to have a long road to recovery here because he had just recuperated from a previous knee injury when the current one happened. He remained in good spirits after his latest setback but the Magic will have to take their time with him given his injury history.

Big Blow For the Magic

There is no doubt that Isaac’s injury is a big blow for the Orlando Magic. The former Florida State star has improved every season since he was picked 6th overall by the Magic in 2017. Isaac appeared in 34 regular season games during the 2019-20 season and he put up averages of 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 1.6 steals, and 1.4 assists per game.

Isaac is projected to be one of Orlando’s cornerstone players moving forward so it doesn’t really come as a surprise why they are taking the conservative approach here. It’s not uncommon for NBA players to miss an entire season due to an ACL injury. Dallas Mavericks’ big man Kristaps Porzingis sat out the entire 2018-19 campaign to rehab his injury but had a successful return this season. The Warriors’ Klay Thompson suffered an ACL injury in the 2019 NBA Finals. He missed the 2019-20 season and is expected to return next term.

As for Isaac, he is still in his rookie contract with Orlando. He is scheduled to become a restricted free agent in 2021 and Orlando could match any offers from other teams to retain his services. Well, that is if the Magic don’t sign him to an extension before that. At his age, his future is bright and he is most likely a part of the Orlando Magic’s future, even if he sits out the entire 2021 season.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.