Orlando Magic Daily Mailbag Volume 38: While we wait

The Orlando Magic are eager for Nikola Vucevic to make his return to the court. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
The Orlando Magic are eager for Nikola Vucevic to make his return to the court. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Jonathan isaac, Orlando Magic, Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers
The delay may give Jonathan Isaac and the Orlando Magic the chance to be healthy again. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Getting healthy

Without a doubt, the delay could give the Orlando Magic a small benefit.

It feels like since the opening of training camp, the Magic have dealt with injuries in some form. Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon nursed injuries in training camp — and then suffered injuries again in November. Michael Carter-Williams was in and out of the lineup. D.J. Augustin missed 15 games in January and February leading into the All-Star Break.

They all at least came back.

Then, of course, there were the presumptive season-ending knee injuries to Jonathan Isaac and Al-Farouq Aminu.

There is no firm word on when either player will be back. Both were traveling with the team — a sign they were progressing in their recovery. And Al-Farouq Aminu at least expressed hope he would be able to play in the Olympics for Nigeria.

That at least suggests Aminu was close to a return to be able to ramp up for major basketball in late July (the Olympics have since been postponed). And Jonathan Isaac told SiriusXM NBA Radio that if he is healthy, he expects to play for the team.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

The longer this delay goes, the greater the possibility both are available for the Magic when they play. And that would mean this is the first time the Magic would have their full roster since December.

For sure, when the league resumes, they are going to need to allow teams to have a mini-training camp. That should hopefully make integrating these players a lot easier.

Of course, that team struggled offensively a ton with everyone in there. The Magic were defensive juggernauts then. The team was much different.

It is hard to predict what the team would look like if they were suddenly healthy. And, of course, fans are probably still a bit scorned from Jameer Nelson’s return in 2009.

The stakes are much lower this time around. And nobody would say no to bringing Isaac back into the lineup. Getting him some experience in the Playoffs is still extremely valuable. I do not think the Magic would say no to bringing him back if they are confident and comfortable he is healthy and ready to contribute.

I still think the Magic will be cautious though.

Obviously, Isaac is still able to do some rehab on his own while the team’s training facility is closed. But they are not going to rush or throw him back into the fire if they are not confident he can handle the physical pounding. Especially the physicality of playoff basketball.

Orlando still has a long game in play for Isaac. They want him to be healthy for the long term. And winning a playoff game or fighting to be a 7-seed is not a big enough prize to bring Isaac back too soon.

Maybe Aminu plays still if he is healthy. I think the Magic are probably a little more confident in his ability to get up to speed and contribute quickly than they are with Isaac. And maybe a little more willing to risk things with him for their big picture.

But, yes, the long holdover into May at the very least will give the Magic a chance to get healthy again.