Jonathan Isaac To Play For Lakeland Magic On Wednesday

Magic forward Jonathan Isaac, who last played in an NBA game 891 days ago, is set to play in the G League for the Lakeland Magic on Wednesday, according to reports from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel.

Isaac tore his ACL in 2020 and suffered a setback during his rehab process last March, undergoing a minor procedure on his right hamstring. He last played in an NBA game on August 2, 2020 in the Walt Disney World bubble and has been on the shelf for two-and-a-half seasons since then. However, he has been ramping up to a return in recent weeks, having been cleared for full contact 5-on-5 scrimmages in early December.

According to Wojnarowski, Isaac will likely play two games with Lakeland before being called up to make his season debut for Orlando. After hosting the Westchester Knicks on Wednesday, Lakeland will play at home against the Greensboro Swarm on Friday and Saturday.

Isaac will be rejoining an Orlando squad that looks much different from the one he played for in 2020. At that time, Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Evan Fournier were among the team’s top players, while Magic youngsters like Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Cole Anthony, and Jalen Suggs had yet to reach the NBA.

Prior to his injury, Isaac was emerging as one of the league’s most talented defenders. The 6’11” forward was having his best year in his third NBA season in 2019/20, averaging 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, and 1.6 steals in 28.8 minutes per night in his first 34 games.

How Isaac performs in the second half could go a long way to determining whether he has a place in the Magic’s long-term future. He’s under contract for two more seasons beyond this one, but only $7.6MM of the remaining $34.8MM on his deal after 2022/23 is guaranteed.

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