Former top-10 draft pick Jonathan Isaac is nearing his return for the Orlando Magic after two-and-a-half years on the sidelines.
Isaac, 25, last played a competitive game in August 2020, when he tore his ACL in the NBA ‘bubble’ and was ruled out for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
He went on to miss all of the 2020-21 campaign, and after complications with his recovery, he also missed the entirety of the 2021-22 season and now half of the current season.
The 6ft 10in defensive ace appeared on track for multiple NBA All-Defensive First Team honours, averaging 2.3 blocks and 1.4 steals per game in his most recent campaign. The only player this season averaging at least two blocks and one steal is Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Isaac will play for the Lakeland Magic – Orlando’s G League affiliate – on Wednesday, as the first of two planned games before assessing his readiness to return to the NBA.
He is in the second year of a four-year, $70million contract, and will rejoin a Magic team in the tail-end of what looks to be a successful rebuild, with franchise building blocks Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner in place following two terrific drafts from the Orlando front office.