NBA Trade Rumors: Jonathan Isaac Inquiries Have Been 'Batted Away' by Magic

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2019

Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac (1) sets up for a shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The Orlando Magic reportedly have no intention of trading away forward Jonathan Isaac.

"It's hard to overstate how much the Magic love Isaac," Zach Lowe of ESPN reported. "They have batted away any Isaac trade inquiries, sources say. He has quickly become a standard-bearer of the culture president Jeff Weltman and GM John Hammond want to nurture."

The 2017 No. 6 overall pick hasn't quite hit his potential but is coming off a solid 2018-19 season where he averaged 9.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.

He's been overshadowed by others in a loaded 2017 draft class—from top players like Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum and De'Aaron Fox to big names like Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz—but Isaac has already proved to be a difference-maker defensively.

The 21-year-old ranked 36th in the NBA in defensive win shares last season, per Basketball Reference, and was one of just 13 players to average 0.8 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.

Considering his youth and skill set as a 6'10" player with great athleticism, there is no limit to his potential on the defensive end of the court.

Adding in his emerging offensive game, it's easy to understand why there's a heavy trade market for Isaac as well as why the Magic want to keep him.

Orlando reached the playoffs last season and still has several high-upside players on the roster, including Isaac, Fultz and Mo Bamba. If these players reach their potential, the squad could become an Eastern Conference contender before long.


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