Isaac didn’t post gaudy numbers in his only season at Florida State, but he showed enough flashes to warrant a first-round selection. He averaged 12.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks a game for the Seminoles in 2016-17.
Here’s what social media said about the Magic bringing in the local product from Tallahassee:
The fact he shot 34.8 percent from beyond the arc makes it a little easier to overlook his less than impressive scoring average. Isaac also shot 59.3 percent on two-pointers, per Sports Reference, illustrating his offensive efficiency.
In his evaluation of Isaac in early March, Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman praised Isaac in areas that don’t show up in a box score:
“Unselfish and efficient, Isaac has played the right way all season, taking shots the defense gives him. Rarely has he forced the issue. Extended minutes without a field-goal attempt haven’t tempted him to hunt. Isaac’s coaches have raved about his coachability and team-first approach, and he’s shown no signs of a motor that’s vulnerable to fading.”
Isaac was a highly touted recruit in the 2016 class, so his encouraging freshman campaign didn’t come out of nowhere. The Bronx, New York, native ranked fifth nationally, per Scout, coming out of IMG Academy.
Still, many college basketball fans likely first took notice of Isaac in a major way after Florida State’s 83-80 win over Notre Dame on Jan. 18. Isaac flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks:
It’s easy to see why Isaac is rated so highly in this year’s draft class despite not posting similar numbers to many of his fellow incoming rookies. According to ESPN.com, he stands 6’11” and boasts a 9’1″ reach and 7’1″ wingspan.
Isaac has the potential to be a solid rim protector and rebounder. Further bolstering his value on the defensive end, he should be able to competently guard either forward position.
With the NBA’s emphasis on spacing the floor, it will be important for Isaac to continue working on his three-point shot. While not a dead-eye shooter, he showed enough as a freshman to expect he can be effective on the perimeter with enough time to develop.
The Magic began using Aaron Gordon more often than ever at the 3 this past year, and with Isaac potentially coming on board, Gordon is likely to spend even more time at small forward.
Orlando may also see Isaac as providing depth at center should the team want to move Nikola Vucevic, who will have more value to the Magic as a possible trade chip than a member of the roster.
Since losing Dwight Howard, the Magic have yet to find a player around whom it can build a contender. Orlando will hope Isaac can fill that void.
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