4 Orlando Magic players who definitely shouldn’t be back next season

Chuma Okeke, Orlando Magic. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Chuma Okeke, Orlando Magic. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images /
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Jonathan Isaac, Orlando Magic. Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images /

4 Orlando Magic players who shouldn’t be back next year

Jonathan Isaac

I still think “if Jonathan Isaac can just stay healthy, he could be an All-Defense Player.” That is the reality of how talented Isaac is.

After not playing basketball for nearly three years, he returned this season and played 11 games. In only 124 minutes he had 14 steals — that is 4.1 steals per 36 minutes, a crazy number. He averaged 16.0 points, 12.8 rebounds, 4.1 steals and 1.2 blocks per-36 minutes, numbers for a defensive superstar.

The problem is, as always, health.

Some NBA players just cannot stay healthy, and Isaac has only played more than 34 games in a season once since entering the league six seasons ago.

Stephen Curry and Joel Embiid are the outliers, not the rule. Most players who miss this much time don’t get their careers back on the tracks.

The false start of Isaac’s return was disappointing this season. He was truly astounding in his 11 games this season. But the injury that required surgery that ended his season just felt like more of the same. The good news is that he is expected to be fully ready for training camp.

Perhaps Isaac will, and it is that sliver of possibility that has kept him on the team this long. But it is hard to imagine Isaac does not return with some restrictions still.

Even so, at some point, the Magic have to move on.

Isaac is on track to make the most money of anyone on the team next season. His $17.4 million is non-guaranteed, and it is time for the Magic to waive him and move on.

Next. 10 Worst free agent signings in Orlando Magic history. dark

The Magic do not have a lot of easy calls on their roster. Their team is mostly young players with upside or a couple of low-cost veterans.

Isaac is the one expensive player, but even he offers such tantalizing potential. Trimming this roster down to make room for new additions will be painful, but it will help the Magic take that next step forward.