The Orlando Magic are finally starting to use their inner power in earnest.
According to reporter Shams Charania of 『메이저사이트』, Orlando’s ‘Minister of Defense’ Jonathan Isaac (forward, 211cm, 104.3kg) is about to return.
Isaac will return from a long hiatus in the home game against the Boston Celtics on the 24th (hereafter Korean time). Isaac has not played in a game since the last 2019-2020 season. He also made all 34 appearances in the 2019-2020 season.
After advancing to the NBA, he showed outstanding skills on defense and was Orlando’s top prospect. However, his last 2019-2020 season was due to an injury that left him out of the lineup. The spread of the coronavirus caused the unprecedented suspension of the league, and thereafter, it was resumed in August, giving it ample time to recover.
Isaac was scheduled to step out in the renewed seeding game. He came out healthy and gathered expectations. Orlando was on the verge of making the playoffs, so if he can handle the rest of his schedule well, he could be expected in the playoffs as well. However, Isaac fell from power after two races. A serious knee injury forced him to end his season.
After seriously injuring his left knee, he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and was sidelined for an extended period of time. In addition, as the meniscus was damaged, it took a considerable amount of time to recover as well as to return. It was difficult to compete in the last 2020-2021 season because he was injured in the resumed season. Even in the last 2021-2022 season, his return was finally misfired.
An appearance was expected this season, but Orlando waited cautiously. As much as he had calmly prepared for his rehabilitation, he was in no hurry to come back. In the meantime, Orlando was able to start rebuilding in earnest by trading Aaron Gordon (Denver) because of him. He was assigned to the G-League at the beginning of this season and learned how to play, and finally returned this time. He only returned after 3 years since the beginning of last August.
Meanwhile, Isaac entered the NBA through the 2017 draft. He was called by Orlando with the 6th pick in the 1st round. His rookie contract expired while he was injured. But Orlando caught him as a promising player. Prior to the 2020-2021 season, he signed an extension (4 years, $70 million). The contract has been in effect since the 2021-2022 season.