Jonathan Isaac will only get better
A good chunk of the focus for the Orlando Magic in Summer League was spent evaluating and getting a good look at sixth overall pick Jonathan Isaac. It would be that way no matter who the team took in the first round.
Ahead of the Draft, scouts described Isaac as one of the biggest projects in the Draft. He was an extremely raw athlete with some skills defined, but maybe not the assertiveness teams like to see from a top pick. His time with the Florida State Seminoles showed incredible promise, but still plenty of questions.
Summer League would answer some of those questions.
Isaac ended up averaging 10.3 points per game and 8.0 rebounds per game in the Summer League, making 44.4 percent of his shots. He recorded 11 offensive rebounds in his three games. And a good chunk of his misses came in a jittery first game where he rushed a lot of his put backs off offensive rebounds.
There are still concerns about him being ready to play physically, but that will quickly disappear as he goes through a NBA workout. Even still, he held his own attacking the offensive glass and defensively. There are fewer concerns about his ability to contribute something as a rookie.
Isaac’s defense is well ahead of his offense. He still has to develop his 3-point shot too on offense to make a bigger impact.
But what was most encouraging about Isaac and the way he played was how he got better each game. His first game was a bit nervous and jittery. His second game, he looked more comfortable and dominant defensively.
Isaac’s third game saw him playing at his most confident. He was darting into the lane off the ball. He was dribbling himself into a rhythm for his jumper. He scored nine points in 12 minutes and seemed on his way to a stellar game.
Then the hip injury. Magic fans and staff may never know what Isaac had in store for that game or for any other game he would have played.
But that progression was extremely encouraging. Isaac was smart and found his spots to take over. As he gained more confidence, his talent began to take over. The progress will be slower in the NBA regular season, but the Magic have to be pleased with what they saw in Isaac.