Magic: Jonathan Isaac to miss next season

Jonathan Isaac looked like he could become the franchise centerpiece the Magic have been seeking since losing Dwight Howard.

But Isaac tore his left ACL in seeding games. That obviously ended his season.

Orlando says not to expect him back next season, either.

Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press:

Magic President Jeff Weltman ends all doubt, if any existed: “We will not have Jonathan Isaac next season.”

Allow me to re-instill some doubt. It’s unclear when next season will even happen. So, I’m not confident Isaac will miss the entire season.

But expect Orlando to be cautious. Isaac was recovering from another left knee injury, and it initially appeared he wouldn’t play in the bubble. Yet, Isaac returned… then got hurt again. In fairness to the Magic, an NBA-appointed doctor ruled in January it was not “substantially more likely than not” Isaac would be out through June 15. He played in an exhibition July 27. Still, that saga will surely invite greater caution.

Isaac, 22, will be eligible for a contract extension this offseason. He was playing at All-Defense level before getting hurt, and he showed flashes of greater offensive impact. Maybe he and Orlando could agree on an extension that provides good team value if he gets healthy and guarantees Isaac some financial security amid an injury-riddled start to his career. If not, he’ll head toward restricted free agency in 2021.