Eastern Notes: Isaac, Connaughton, Heat, Mokoka

Jonathan Isaac hasn’t played for the Magic in nearly seven months, having suffered a knee injury on January 1. However, it looks like his return is imminent — the team’s performance staff and front office officials have cleared Isaac to suit up for Orlando’s scrimmage on Monday, writes Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

The Magic are being extra cautious with Isaac, one of the franchise’s young cornerstones, so he’ll still have to make it through today’s shootaround before being given the go-ahead for the club’s evening scrimmage vs. Denver. And even if he plays, he’ll face restrictions, Robbins notes.

“It’s been a very long time since he’s played,” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said of Isaac. “As always, we will take a very cautious approach, and his playing time will be placed under a very limited minute restriction as he gets reacclimated to the NBA game.”

The Magic had originally been planning to be without Isaac this summer, but the young forward has exceeded expectations, writes Robbins. If he gets through Monday’s scrimmage with no issues, he would be well positioned to contribute in the team’s seeding games and potentially the playoffs as well, which would be a nice boost for Orlando. Isaac was one of the NBA’s best defenders during the first half of the season, with averages of 2.4 blocks and 1.6 steals per game in 32 contests.

Here’s more from around the East:

  • Bucks wing Pat Connaughton, who revealed last week that he had tested positive for COVID-19, said on Saturday that he was en route to the NBA’s campus in Orlando, tweets Malika Andrews of ESPN. Assuming Connaughton began his quarantine that evening and returns two negative coronavirus tests, he should be cleared to rejoin the team today.
  • Heat starters Bam Adebayo and Kendrick Nunn confirmed that their arrivals to Orlando were delayed by positive COVID-19 tests, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Adebayo said that he was essentially asymptomatic, while Nunn had “mild symptoms,” per Winderman. “It felt like a common cold, to be honest,” Nunn said. “I’m just thankful I got over it.”
  • Bulls two-way player Adam Mokoka was named the MVP of a summer tournament in France, as Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago relays. Mokoka scored 18 points in the final of the Amiral League, which took place in Paris and also featured NBA players Frank Ntilikina and Sekou Doumbouya.

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