Isaac, Aminu Unlikely To Play Until Next Season

Magic forwards Jonathan Isaac and Al-Farouq Aminu are unlikely to return this season despite the extended layoff, according to Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel.

Isaac suffered a knee injury on New Year’s Day and hasn’t played since that game in Washington. Isaac was establishing himself as a defensive force before the severe left knee sprain.

Aminu hasn’t played since November 29. Aminu underwent arthroscopic surgery in early January to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.

The Magic were granted a disabled player exception for Aminu but were denied another one for Isaac’s injury.

“Not a whole lot of news there,” Orlando president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said of the duo. “As always, we’re going to wait and see how they respond to rehab. They’re both working very hard.”

Both players have guaranteed contracts for next season and the Magic plan to proceed with caution. Orlando is currently No. 8 in the Eastern Conference as play is expected to resume on July 31.

“There’s a difference of being healthy and then being safely healthy,” Weltman said. “It will have been a long, long time since those guys played and you know organizationally that we’re never going to put our guys in a position where they’re exposed to any sort of risk of injury. So that being said, we’ll just continue to see how they progress.”

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14 thoughts on “Isaac, Aminu Unlikely To Play Until Next Season

  1. x%sure

    Darn they’ll miss the seeding games.
    Players that have a reason not to show probably won’t.

  2. Luckylefty2

    Did the magic really give aminu their whole mid-level exception? Its decisions ike this that doesnt make me feel remorseful for the majority of small market teams.

  3. Real 2K Insider

    How would Aminu getting the MLE be a bad decision?

    Previous 4 seasons:
    28 MPG
    293 Games Played (89%)
    255 Games Started (87%)
    35.3 3PT%
    17th in FT% (87%) in 2019
    35 Playoff Games (36 Starts)

    He got the money he’s supposed to get as a 6th/7th man.

    • Real 2K Insider

      *31 Playoff Starts

      It’s called the “Mid-Level” for a reason.

    • Luckylefty2

      The magic didnt need another forward. They could of strategically used the mid level to get shooting, or couple good role players. Now they’re stuck at mediocricity with no money to spend in FA.

      • Magic 24/7

        The Magic were never going to have cap space for the duration of Aminu’s contract. Not that it matters as cap space in FA is mostly useless to small market teams.

        + ORL did need forward depth…Iwundu was only F & he doesn’t match up well vs bigger SF’s and PF’s.

        PG: Fultz / Augustin / MCW
        SG: Fournier / Ross
        SF: Gordon / Iwundu
        PF: Isaac
        C: Vucevic / Bamba / Birch

        In fact when JI & Aminu went down for the season, they were forced to play C Khem Birch & Amile Jefferson (a G-League call up) at PF. When they traded for Ennis, a forward, they went on best run of the season and continued to surge up to the Covid hiatus.

        + It’s no secret that ORL has been shopping Aaron Gordon since last summer. Having Aminu on roster provided a playoff caliber starting F in case trade occurred. If JI/Aminu hadn’t been injured, it’s very likely they would have traded Gordon at the deadline.

        ORL is not stuck at mediocrity, they were 2nd youngest team in playoffs last year and likely will be again.

        • Luckylefty2

          You kind of made my point. They DIDNT need aminu. If Isaac were to get hurt(which he did) they could of slid Gordon to the PF spot and get a guy like gary clark(or another PF) to play spot minutes. What the magic need is shooting not more forwards. With their current roster theyre a consistent 8/7 seed. And that’s IF teams like the hawks & wizards dont catch up.

          • Magic 24/7

            No I did not make your point, its literally the exact opposite.

            The Magic DID need a 3d rotation level forward who could play +20 key rotation minutes and be able to start if AG was traded + defend bigger F’s.

            FYI, the Magic DID slide Gordon to PF. They also DID acquire Gary Clark and he DID play F and he proceeded to shoot 35.7 FG% / 28.8 3P% / 49.0 TS% / 8.8 PER / -3.9 BPM…he was so awful, the Magic were forced to call up a G-L guy & play Birch at 4.

            The Magic’s shooting woes were also not indicative of the shooting capacity on the roster. Several top rotation players, who are good career shooters, were having career low shooting slumps…that was compounded with key injuries. But by mid January they began to revert to their mean. Its why in last 15g the Magic were a top 5 offense.

            This current roster, were tied for 6th seed last season, they just lost the tie breaker. They’ll likely be 7th seed this season …and they’re doing that while starting a PG who’s basically a rookie coming off of major injury & without their crucial defensive anchor, Jonathan Isaac.

            Fultz/Isaac/Bamba are barely scratching the surface & for next 2-3 years they’ll be surrounded with solid players all in their peak prime.

        • Luckylefty2

          I also forgot to mention that they have isaac & fultz up for rookie extensions, so yes they do need money.

          • Magic 24/7

            No, they DO NOT need the $ to extend those two. Ross, Vuc, and AG all have descending contract structures + Fournier expires next season.

            Even if those two get a max, the Magic will have plenty of room below the tax line to do so.

      • Real 2K Insider

        Since when do teams not carry a backup?

        Like what fantasy land are you living in where you think teams should enter the season with 3rd strings filling vital roles and expect to compete?

  4. king beas

    If isaac can come back healthy his defense makes him a max contract candidate imo

    • wagner13

      Not with his injury history. Besides, he’s too limited on the offensive end. Orlando would go nowhere if they committed that sort of money to Isaac

    • Luckylefty2

      Max, no, BUT I could see a 110m deal. Isaac is extremely underrated.

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