Orlando Magic big man Jonathan Isaac will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn left adductor muscle, the team said Friday. "Our thoughts are with Jonathan, whose fortitude in dealing with adversity is unique," Magic 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."
Isaac has been dealing with significant injuries throughout his entire NBA career. Most notably, he missed the past two seasons while recovering from a torn ACL he suffered while playing in the 2020 Orlando bubble. Due to that injury, he was sidelined from August 2020 until January 2023.
He briefly returned for the Magic this season, and while his role was limited and his numbers were underwhelming, he did manage to provide a helpful bit of front-court depth. Isaac, at his peak, was among the best defensive big men in basketball. Even in small doses, he managed to help Orlando on that end of the floor this season.
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The Magic revamped their entire frontcourt during his two-year absence. Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr. have all joined the team and claimed starting positions. Even when healthy, Isaac is now likely a reserve for Orlando if he sticks around. That isn't a guarantee. Isaac's contract included partial guarantees that triggered due to injury. If the Magic keep Isaac, they will pay him $17.4 million per year for the next two seasons. If they waive him, however, they can pay him $7.6 million next season and nothing during the 2024-25 campaign.
That is a decision the Magic likely haven't yet made and will rely on his recovery from this injury. Isaac was once among the more promising young players in basketball, and if he can make it back from yet another health issue, he'd be an important part of Orlando's rebuild.