The Orlando Magic have chosen Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac with their first-round pick in the NBA Draft. Some pundits thought Orlando would go with shooting guard Malik Monk of Kentucky, but Isaac brings many attributes that can make him a star in the league.
Isaac, a native of New York City, but a product of IMG Academy in Bradenton, was pleased to be selected by the Magic.
“Man, it means everything,” he said about his opportunity to remain close to home. “Maybe I would have loved to be drafted by a New York team so I could come home, but it is kind of home for me. I’ve been living in Florida for 9 years, so it feels great.”
Isaac does not possess the shooting touch of some of the other top picks, but he is long and athletic. At 6 feet and 10 inches, but only 210 pounds, Isaac understands perfectly that he needs to beef up to play forward in the NBA.
“I’ve definitely got to get stronger,” he said following his selection. “That’s the first thing I’ve got to focus on. “I’m going to gain weight, but the first thing is I’ve got to get stronger.”
During his one season playing for Leonard Hamilton at Florida State, Isaac averaged 12 points and nearly 8 rebounds per game. He was a 35 percent three-point shooter, but with the distance a bit longer in the NBA, he will need to work on his shot to maximize his offensive game.
Isaac became the third Florida State player to be chosen in the first round. Dave Cowens was the first pick of the Boston Celtics in 1970 and George McLeod was the top pick of the Indiana Pacers in 1989.
Isaac was the 6th consecutive freshman chosen in this year’s draft, a record. He will get his first taste of professional basketball beginning July 1 when the Orlando Summer League begins.
With their second pick of the first round and 25th overall, the Magic took center Anzejs Pasecniks from the Spanish pro league. They traded the pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for a future first round pick.