The Orlando Magic were without a key contributor in the playoffs, and it appears that will be the case for next season as well. Promising young forward Jonathan Isaac is going to miss all of 2020-21, Magic president Jeff Weltman confirmed to media members on Monday, via Tim Reynolds of the AP. Isaac tore his left ACL and meniscus against the Sacramento Kings in Orlando's second seeding game inside the bubble, and the recovery time is expected to be close to a year.
The injury occurred when Isaac drove into the lane and attempted to split a pair of defenders with a jump stop. Upon landing, his left knee buckled and he collapsed to the court. He immediately grabbed his knee while grimacing in pain. The Magic medical staff attended to him for some time along the baseline, and they later took him off the floor in a wheelchair.
Isaac, who had only just recovered from another major knee injury, made it known on Twitter that he remained in good spirits following the latest setback.
IT IS WELL!!! 2 Kings 4! Thank you for all of your prayers and concerns I’m encouraged. Remember our God is not just a God of the hills but a God of the valleys! (2 Corinthians ch 4 vs 9!) MY COMEBACK WILL BE GREATER THAN MY SETBACK!!!! I STILL STAND IN JESUS NAME!!!! pic.twitter.com/9Icv0WULQ6— Jonathan Isaac (@JJudahIsaac) August 3, 2020
The 2019-20 season was a brutal one for Isaac in terms of injury issues. On New Year's Day against the Washington Wizards, he had to be stretchered off the court after landing awkwardly. He was later diagnosed with a "posterior lateral corner injury and a medial bone contusion." He was initially ruled out for 8-10 weeks, but the Magic ultimately ruled him our for the remainder of the season. However, the time for recovery afforded by the suspension of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic allowed Isaac to return to action in Orlando. Now, Isaac faces another long recovery.
There's no way to sugarcoat it, this is a big blow for a Magic team that will be looking to take a step forward next season. Isaac has improved each season since he was selected by Orlando with the sixth pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, and the '19-20 campaign was his best yet. In the 34 games that he appeared in, Isaac averaged 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 1.6 steals and 1.4 assists in 28.8 minutes per game.
Isaac is still on his rookie deal, and thus under contract with Orlando through next season, at least. He is scheduled to be a restricted free agent in 2021 -- at which point Orlando could match any outside offers -- if he doesn't agree to an extension with the Magic before that. At just 22 years old, his future in the league is still extremely bright, and he still figures to play a big part in Orlando's future, even if he will be out of the picture next season.