The Orlando Magic selected Jonathan Isaac of Florida State with the sixth pick in the NBA Draft, investing in a promising young player full of potential.
Isaac was a promising young forward for the Seminoles. The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 12.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game last year. He showed plenty of athleticism and ability to attack off the dribble.
"“I am super excited to be picked by Orlando,” Isaac told reporters in New York (quote sheet provided by the Orlando Magic). “The moment was s o fast. The dream has come ture, and now it’s about getting to Orlando and focusing on how can I make the team better and how can I come in and be of assistance.”"
Isaac certainly has a lot of hope put in him. The Magic needed a star with the sixth overall pick. And the team went for someone who was largely unproven as a primary player.
The Seminoles largely did not use him. That might explain some of his meager statistics. Florida State ran its offense through Dwayne Bacon. It left a lot of people wanting more from Isaac.
He sometimes would fade too far into the background. He was not a very assertive player all the time. But his good moments were very good.
Isaac has the potential to do a lot for the Magic. He is 6-foot-10 and can defend both forward positions. But, unlike Aaron Gordon, he is more comfortable playing on the perimeter. He can take defenders off the dribble and pull up for mid-range jumpers. He is comfortable playing out there.
"“I don’t know what’s not to like about him,” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said. “He’s a terrific kid by all of our accounts. We think he is going to grow into a spectacular player and we are really excited about him.”"
Isaac should step in and find a fit defensively. Like other picks from John Hammond and Jeff Weltman’s draft history, He is long and has the physical profile to be able to switch on the defensive end. He fits that mark.
The Magic now have a young player who needs some time to fill out and grow into his game. But he has the potential to be a very good player. His ceiling is high, and his floor is a bit uncertain. He either will be a stellar player or he could struggle and just be Maurice Harkless.
Hammond has a track record of picking players with his kind of length and versatility. Isaac said he felt comfortable knowing Hammond and Jeff Weltman have a history of developing raw players like him.
"“I feel like I’m coming home to somebody who knows who I am and what I’m capable of and where I can be in the future,” Isaac told reporters in New York. “I think that’s huge because my progression is going to be different than a lot of other players, and I know I have a lot of untapped potential, and I feel like I went to the perfect team to untap it.”"
Despite Isaac’s potential, there is certainly concern about his fit with Gordon. Neither are particularly good 3-point shooters, although Isaac is fine as a spot-up shooter in making 34.8 percent from beyond the arc total.
This was a home-run swing for the Magic. They were going for a star and looking to take a player with the most upside. That is certainly Isaac. There are players who could likely contribute more immediately. But Orlando is definitely looking to bring in a player who can grow and become a star.
But there is the Magic’s pick to restart this rebuild. The Magic have added Isaac to their young core. He is excited for what they can do.
"“My first impression is that we’re young and we just got younger,” Isaac told reporters in New York. “There’s a lot of room for growth, and there a lot of things to do to grow. Just getting in and seeing what I can do, seeing that I can be the hard worker that comes in and doesn’t have an agenda, is humble and can just do whatever he has to do.”"
The Magic traded the 25th overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for a future first round pick and a second round pick. They also traded the 35th pick in the draft to the Memphis Grizzlies for the Brooklyn Nets’ 2019 second round pick.
The Magic selected Kansas State Wildcats guard Wesley Iwundu with the 33rd pick in the Draft. Iwundu averaged 13.0 points per game in his senior year at Kansas State. He shot 37.6 percent from beyond the arc last year, a year after shooting just 20.0 percent his junior year. He is a project offensively, but should be a strong defensive presence for the team.
All quotes provided by ASAP Sports from the NBA Draft, via the Orlando Magic.