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Jonathan Isaac Trade Rumors: Could Orlando Magic Deal Former Top Pick?

Despite not playing in the last two NBA seasons, Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac remains a trade target for teams.

There is optimism that Jonathan Isaac will be ready to begin the 2022-23 season for the Orlando Magic. He has been sidelined for the previous two years due to a torn ACL injury followed by hamstring surgery. 

Despite being selected No. 6 overall by the Magic in the 2017 NBA Draft, Isaac has only appeared in 136 games in his professional career. For reference, Jayson Tatum leads the 2017 class in regular season games played (365).

Isaac showed plenty of intriguing flashes during the games that he has been available to play for the Magic. In the 34 games he played in the 2019-20 season, he averaged 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.6 steals, and 2.3 blocks. 

During a conversation with NBA Analysis Network, one league executive explained that Jonathan Isaac could emerge as a future trade candidate for the Magic. 

Among the reasoning was mention of how the Magic now have a loaded frontcourt with Paolo Banchero — the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft — along with Wendell Carter Jr. 

"With Banchero and Carter there, it's tougher to see where Isaac fits in long-term there," the executive said. 

For a potential trade suitor, there is less long-term risk associated with the idea of acquiring Isaac than what may appear on the surface. He is signed through 2024-25 and his final-year $17.4 million salary is fully non-guaranteed while his 2023-24 salary only features $7.4 million guaranteed.

"A lot of Isaac's salary isn't guaranteed for the last two years of his deal," the executive expanded. "That should help a team to take a risk by trading for him after his injuries. It's one of those risks that if it pays off, you get a potentially game-changing talent with his defense."

Any trade suitor would be assuming a great deal of risk by acquiring Isaac, even if they do get to see him play an extended stretch of games. The trade value the Magic could receive in return would surely be impacted. 

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