Jonathan Isaac

Southeast Notes: Isaac, Adebayo, Perry, Wizards’ Draft

Jonathan Isaac only appeared in 11 games this season but the Magic forward is optimistic he’ll be fully healthy by training camp, according to Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel. Isaac’s career has been marred by lower body injuries.

“This is really going to be the first summer I have to fully work,” he said. “Every other summer I’ve been rehabbing trying to get back onto the court. So I’ll hopefully in the next few weeks be a full go. And doing everything I need to do to have a healthy next season.”

Isaac’s contract for next season has a base salary of $17.6MM. It is partially guaranteed for $7.6MM before it becomes fully guaranteed on Jan. 10.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Bam Adebayo racked up 17 points and 12 rebounds in Game 3 of the Heat’s playoff series against the Knicks and coach Erik Spoelstra said his impact went beyond the numbers, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald relays. Adebayo also hounded Julius Randle defensively, among other contributions. Spoelstra feels players who don’t put up big offensive numbers often get overlooked. “The average eye might not realize how dominant Bam’s game was to impact a win. He was dominant,” Spoelstra said. “And the shame of it is in today’s day and age, people only view that as dominant if you score 40 points or more or have some kind of gaudy stat line.”
  • The Wizards should seriously consider longtime NBA executive Scott Perry to be their next GM, Jerry Brewer of the Washington Post opines. The current Knicks GM is the type a multidimensional talent evaluator who could give the Wizards an identity, according to Brewer, who says Perry also has the skill set and personality to lead the organization.
  • What would the Wizards do if they wound up with the No. 10 pick in the draft for the second consecutive season? Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington explores that question using the RealGM draft simulator. The Wizards ended up with Kentucky point guard Cason Wallace in that simulation, which would fill their biggest need at a great value, Hughes notes.

Injury Updates: Randle, Middleton, House, Isaac

Julius Randle practiced on a limited basis on Tuesday, giving the Knicks hope that he might play this weekend against Cleveland, Zach Braziller of the New York Post reports. Randle sprained his left ankle on March 29.

“He did some [work in practice]. Making steady progress. Taking it day-to-day,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He’s doing some running, shooting, scripting, that sort of thing.”

We have more injury updates:

  • Khris Middleton was not a full participant during the Bucks’ practice session on Tuesday but they’re hopeful he’ll be ready to go by the end of the week, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Middleton tweaked his troublesome right knee last week. “He’ll do some individual work, get some weight room work and he’ll do more individual work (Wednesday) and then we’re anticipating and planning for him to practice on Thursday,” coach Mike Budenholzer said.
  • Sixers swingman Danuel House Jr. didn’t practice on Tuesday due to a sore foot, but head coach Doc Rivers expects him to be available for Game 1 against Brooklyn, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He hurt his foot in one of the (last) two games,” Rivers said. “But I think he will be OK.”
  • Magic big man Jonathan Isaac underwent season-ending adductor surgery in early March. He expects to be at full strength by training camp, Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel reports. “This is really going to be the first summer I have to fully work,” Isaac said. “Every other summer I’ve been rehabbing trying to get back on to the court. So I’ll be hopefully in the next few weeks be a full go. And doing everything I need to do to have a healthy next season.”

Southeast Notes: Murray, Oladipo, O. Robinson, Isaac

Hawks guard Dejounte Murray received a $500K bonus earlier this week after he converted his 123rd three-pointer, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter links).

As Marks notes, the bonus was considered unlikely because Murray had never previously reached that milestone. Atlanta’s 2022/23 team salary will increase by $500K as a result, moving that number just $1.1MM below the luxury tax threshold.

The bonus will also impact Murray’s cap hit for next season, bumping it from $17.7MM up to $18.2MM, Marks adds. The Hawks were tracking the likelihood of the bonus being reached, plus they added Saddiq Bey, which is why they were motivated to make a salary-dump trade at the deadline, according to Marks.

Through 61 games (36.4 MPG) in his first season with Atlanta, Murray is averaging 21.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 6.0 APG and 1.5 SPG on .467/.362/.847 shooting. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2024.

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • Victor Oladipo has had plenty of highs and lows in 2022/23. He missed the first 24 games of the season with a knee injury, but he played in his 35th game on Friday night versus Cleveland and appears on track to play his most games since 2018/19, when he suffered a major quad injury. As Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald writes, Oladipo has struggled with inconsistency on offense, but has played solid defense thus far. “Everybody goes through stuff, everybody goes things,” the Heat guard said. “It’s about how you have resolve and how resilient you are, it really defines who you are as a person and defines who you are as a man. So I’m just going to continue to keep getting better and staying aggressive.”
  • The Heat signed a couple of frontcourt veterans last month in Kevin Love and Cody Zeller, which removed Orlando Robinson from the rotation. The rookie center, who is on a two-way deal with Miami, only has four active games remaining as part of his contract, so the temporary plan is to send Robinson back to the G League for playing time, Chiang writes in a subscriber-only story for The Miami Herald. The Heat have enough wiggle room beneath the tax line to convert Robinson to a standard deal if they want to, but the problem is their 15-man roster is full, so they don’t appear to be in any rush on that decision, Chiang notes.
  • Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel (subscriber link) believes it’s time for the Magic to move on from Jonathan Isaac, who underwent season-ending adductor surgery after appearing in just 11 games. Bianchi heaps praise on Isaac off the court and believes he has plenty of potential on it, but says his lengthy injury history makes it too risky to keep him around. Isaac missed all of ’20/21 and ’21/22 while recovering from a torn ACL, and missed a significant amount of time in his first three seasons as well. The 25-year-old’s contract for next season is partially guaranteed for $7.6MM, but it would be “silly” to bring him back and pay him his full $17.4MM salary, according to Bianchi.

Jonathan Isaac Undergoes Season-Ending Adductor Surgery

Jonathan Isaac‘s 2022/23 season is over after just 11 games, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the Magic forward underwent season-ending surgery on Friday to repair a torn left adductor muscle.

The Magic have put out a press release confirming the news (Twitter link). According to the team, Isaac felt discomfort on Tuesday and an MRI on Wednesday revealed the full extent of the injury.

It’s the latest injury in what has been a brutal run of health luck for Isaac, who missed two-and-a-half seasons while recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered in the Disney World bubble in 2020.

The 25-year-old made his season debut on January 23, playing for the first time since August 2, 2020. However, a little over a month later, he has once again gone under the knife and faces a lengthy recovery process.

“Our thoughts are with Jonathan, whose fortitude in dealing with adversity is unique,” president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said in a statement. “Jonathan has worked extremely hard to return to the court this season and has demonstrated his impact on our team. We will be by his side as he focuses on the work ahead.”

Prior to his ACL injury, Isaac was emerging as one of the NBA’s most talented, versatile defenders, averaging 2.3 blocks and 1.6 steals per game in 34 contests (28.8 MPG) during the 2019/20 season. He flashed that defensive upside a little this season, but played a very modest role in his 11 appearances, logging just 11.3 minutes per night. He averaged 5.0 PPG and 4.0 RPG in his limited action.

Isaac is under contract for two more seasons beyond this one, but his $17.6MM cap hit for 2023/24 is only partially guaranteed (for $7.6MM) and his $17.6MM salary for ’24/25 isn’t guaranteed at all.

While it’s possible the 6’11” forward will make a full recovery from this latest injury and reestablish himself as a reliable rotation player next season, he certainly can no longer be viewed as a lock to finish out his current contract due to his growing injury history.

Injury Notes: AD, Schröder, Isaac, Embiid, Simons, Vassell

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said star big man Anthony Davis was held out of Wednesday’s game in Oklahoma City for precautionary reasons and it had been planned for “weeks,” writes Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times.

He’s frustrated as hell,” Ham said of Davis. “He wants to be out there, but he also understands the process of us managing his foot the right way. And again … it’s a stress reaction, so anything could set that thing off. The more stress you put on it, the more it’s gonna react. I’m not saying it flared up or anything. He’s absolutely playing pain-free. It’s just something we’re monitoring that we want to be extra careful and cautious about.”

The Lakers were playing on the second night of a back-to-back, so that likely played a significant factor in the team’s thinking. Point guard Dennis Schröder, who was starting in place of the injured D’Angelo Russell (right ankle sprain), sprained his left ankle on Wednesday night, but he had the ankle retaped and was able to return to the game, per Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group (Twitter links).

Schröder had called Wednesday’s matchup with the Thunder a “must-win” game, per Goon (via Twitter), and he toughed out the injury and finished with a game-high 26 points, six assists, two steals and was plus-16 in the six-point victory.

Here are some more injury notes from around the NBA:

  • Magic big man Jonathan Isaac missed his third straight game on Wednesday night with a right hamstring/adductor strain, but he did rejoin the team in Milwaukee and was able to go through parts of Tuesday’s practice, according to Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (subscriber link). Price reports that the Magic are “operating with an abundance of caution” due to the amount of time Isaac has missed the past few years. The 25-year-old has played 11 games thus far in ’22/23.
  • Sixers star Joel Embiid was ruled out of Wednesday’s game in Miami due to left foot soreness, tweets Rich Hofmann of The Athletic. Despite missing their best player, the Sixers trounced the Heat by 25 points. It’s worth noting that it was the front end of a back-to-back, so the Sixers were likely just being cautious with Embiid; they play in Dallas on Thursday.
  • Anfernee Simons returned to the Trail Blazers‘ starting lineup on Wednesday night, the team announced (via Twitter). The fifth-year guard was dealing with a Grade 2 right ankle sprain, but he returned to action fairly quickly; he was technically out 15 days, but only missed three games due to the All-Star break.
  • Spurs guard/forward Devin Vassell is listed as probable for Thursday’s home game against Indiana, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. Vassell has been sidelined since January 2 after undergoing a left knee procedure. His potential return was anticipated, as coach Gregg Popovich previously said the team was hoping he would return on Thursday.

Eastern Notes: Trent Jr., Butler, Yurtseven, Isaac, Brown

Gary Trent Jr. has been one of the hot names on the rumor mill due to the Raptors guard’s ability to opt out and become a free agent this summer. However, it’s no lock that the Raptors will trade him, according to Michael Grange of

The organization has been impressed with Trent’s professionalism and production after enduring an early-season shooting slump. The Raptors have signaled they are willing to re-sign him and Grange’s sources indicate Trent would like to re-sign with them during the offseason. Trent is likely to decline the $18.56MM option on the final year of his three-year contract.

We have more Eastern Conference news:

  • Heat forward Jimmy Butler says he’ll play against Orlando on Friday, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweets. He was a late scratch against Boston on Tuesday due to lower back tightness. Center Omer Yurtseven, who hasn’t played this season after undergoing ankle surgery, did some shooting after practice on Thursday, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. Yurtseven still has a splint on his ankle and his return is not imminent.
  • Magic big man Jonathan Isaac scored 10 points in 10 minutes against Boston and five points in eight minutes against Indiana on Wednesday. He hadn’t played since 2020 due to a serious knee injury and admits that he struggled through a 4 1/2-minute stint in the first half of his first game back. “That kind of first wind got to me. That last minute I could barely talk I was breathing so hard,” Isaac said to ESPN’s Andrew Lopez and other media members. “But the second rotation in the second half, that four minutes, I started to just relax and just feel good.”
  • Pacers’ second-round rookie Kendall Brown is back in action with the G League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants after sitting out six weeks due to a stress reaction in his right tibia. He absorbed a lot on information during his recovery, he told Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. “It’s been a lot of rehab, sitting on the bench watching my teammates play,” he said. “Being off, I spent a lot of time with the Pacers — in the film room and courtside just watching everything. It was really good to see everyone play and the speed of the game. I think it helped me a lot.”

Magic’s Jonathan Isaac To Play First Game Since 2020 On Monday

JANUARY 23: Isaac will be available for Monday’s game, the Magic confirmed (via Twitter).

JANUARY 22: The Magic expect forward Jonathan Isaac to play in his first NBA game since August 2020 on Monday against the Celtics, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel reports that Isaac will initially be listed on the league’s official injury report as questionable, but that Orlando plans to upgrade his status to available after a team walkthrough.

Isaac initially tore his left ACL in August 2020, but during his recovery he dealt with a setback and had to undergo an additional surgery, this time on his right hamstring, in March 2022. He had been ramping up his rehabilitation significantly this season with an eye on a return. Earlier this month, Isaac had improved enough to be able to play for the Magic’s G League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic.

In addition to missing the end of 2019/20, the 25-year-old Isaac was out for the entire 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons. He has also been sidelined for the Magic’s first 46 games already this season. Prior to the ’20/21 season, though he was already set to miss the entire year, Isaac inked a four-year, $80MM contract extension with Orlando.

The 6’11” forward holds career averages of 9.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.5 BPG, 1.1 APG and 1.1 SPG.  He has only played 136 games for the Magic since first being drafted with the sixth pick out of Florida State in 2017.

Injury Notes: Ball, Kleber, Wade, Okeke, Okogie

Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball suffered his third left ankle sprain this season in yesterday’s victory over Houston. Ball and teammate P.J. Washington were contesting a layup by Jabari Smith Jr. when Washington landed on Ball’s ankle (YouTube link via ESPN).

While the injury certainly looked painful, the 21-year-old sounds fairly confident he won’t miss as much time as he did with his previous sprains, which sidelined him for 13 and 11 games, respectively.

It feels a little bit better,” Ball said, per Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. “It doesn’t feel like those other ones. … I can walk, so take it day-by-day and see what it is.”

Boone writes that the young All-Star didn’t require an X-Ray or other tests to determine the severity of the injury.

Here are some more injury notes from around the NBA:

  • Maxi Kleber, who underwent surgery on December 20 to repair a torn hamstring, says he’s targeting a return to the Mavericks‘ lineup next month, though he isn’t committed to that timeline (Twitter video link via Bally Sports Southwest). “I’m not out for the season,” the German big man said. “I can’t give an exact date, but I hope I’m gonna be back… preferably before All-Star break, but I don’t want to jinx anything or say anything or make promises. … But that’s the goal.”
  • Cavaliers forward Dean Wade, who has been sidelined since December 2 due to a shoulder ailment, suffered a setback in his rehab process earlier this month, injuring his ankle when he stepped on a player’s foot during practice, a source tells Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. “He’s not (doing) five-on-five yet,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said on Tuesday. “Again, because of where he was before, it won’t need as much to get him back to going because it wasn’t as big of a setback.”
  • The return of Magic forward Chuma Okeke isn’t imminent, according to Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (subscriber link). Okeke has yet to resume contact work after undergoing a procedure on his left knee in December. Price adds within the same story that forward Jonathan Isaac is expected to play in a third G League game for the Lakeland Magic on Thursday as he makes his way back from an ACL injury.
  • Suns wing Josh Okogie broke his nose in Monday’s game in Memphis when he took an inadvertent elbow from teammate Deandre Ayton, tweets Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Okogie is listed as out for Thursday — it’s unclear how much additional time he might miss.

Luke Adams contributed to this story.

Southeast Notes: Isaac, Beal, Hayward, Dedmon

Jonathan Isaac‘s return to the court on Wednesday, nearly 900 days after he last played in an NBA game, was a success, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Playing on a minutes limit for the Magic‘s G League affiliate, Isaac scored 15 points in just under 15 minutes while also chipping in five rebounds, an assist, and a blocked shot.

The veteran forward – who tore his ACL in August 2020 – referred to the game as a “great milestone” for him, but said he still had some things to work on as he prepares to return to the NBA.

“I’m not going look at it too deep because it was my first game back,” Isaac said. “I’m glad I got a couple of buckets to fall. It was really for my conditioning. I definitely got tired, so that’s something I got to keep working on.”

Isaac will play another game for the Lakeland Magic on Saturday, according to Dan Savage of (Twitter link). Orlando’s G League team hosts the Westchester Knicks on both Friday and Saturday, but Isaac obviously isn’t cleared for back-to-backs yet, so he’ll play in the second game of the set.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • The Wizards announced on Thursday (via Twitter) that star guard Bradley Beal has been cleared to resume full basketball activities after having his left hamstring strain reevaluated. As Josh Robbins of The Athletic points out (via Twitter), when Beal was cleared following a similar injury to his right hamstring last month, he played in a game six days later. Given Beal’s repeated hamstring issues this season, the team will likely be at least as cautious this time around, Robbins says.
  • Injuries have limited Hornets forward Gordon Hayward to just 21 games so far this season, which he acknowledged is “definitely frustrating,” per Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Hayward has missed Charlotte’s last five contests due to a hamstring strain, but head coach Steve Clifford is hopeful the veteran will be back within the next week, Boone writes. “He wants to be out there so badly, but we’ve just got to make sure that he’s healthy when he comes back,” Clifford said. “A hamstring is a tricky one. The one thing we don’t want is he comes back a little bit early and it’s a month or it’s five weeks. And we can’t afford that.”
  • After serving a one-game suspension for a sideline outburst, Heat center Dewayne Dedmon will have to take on the challenge of winning back the team’s trust, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. As Winderman observes, several former Heat players – including Meyers Leonard, Dion Waiters, and James Johnson – were traded not long after being disciplined by the team in some form or another.

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.