Welcome back, Jonathan Isaac! 👏
— NBA (@NBA) January 24, 2023
Isaac’s return is the first time in 904 days that he has played on an NBA court after tearing his ACL in the NBA bubble in 2020.
Jonathan Isaac made his way back onto an NBA court after his knee injury in 2020 👏 pic.twitter.com/Vti7awx14S
— ESPN (@espn) January 24, 2023
The former No.6 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft once had a ton of promise with a ton of raw athleticism. He certainly showed those skills in limited action on Monday, finishing with ten points along with three rebounds and two steals in just ten minutes.
Jonathan Isaac in his return:
10 MIN pic.twitter.com/IsBBpqEl7I
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) January 24, 2023
While these stats don’t exactly raise eyebrows, Jonathan Isaac certainly passed the eye test for many around the NBA world.
Over 900 days out.
Still a difference maker.
— Stuart Hodge (@Hodgeythehack) January 24, 2023
Jonathan Isaac in his first game back since 2020:
He could be the boost the Magic need to make a run at the Play-In 👀pic.twitter.com/bAnnJLZXOf
— Kenny Morales (@KennyMoralesTV) January 24, 2023
Jonathan Isaac should miss 2.5 years more often!
— Tas Melas (@TasMelas) January 24, 2023
Jonathan Isaac with a great sequence in his first game back:
-Hits a spot-up 3
-Strips Jaylen Brown
-Assist in transition
Looking a lot like his pre-injury self as a high upside two-way presence. pic.twitter.com/iGPUOMmy9Y
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) January 24, 2023
Isaac discussed how it felt to return to NBA action along with how he will fit in with this current team after the game.
“It has been such a long road,” said Isaac via Bally Sports Florida on Twitter. “I was thinking about all that it has taken to get here. All the people who helped me get back here. I tried my best to stay grounded and grateful. Much love to the Magic for sticking with me. Trying to bottle all of that up in one moment was surreal.”
Isaac went on to say that he is excited to “get integrated” with the rest of his Magic teammates moving forward.
“The more that I get integrated, the more all of us just continue to learn how to play with each other, I really do believe the sky is the limit.”
"The more that I get integrated, the more all of us just continue to learn how to play with each other, I really do believe the sky is the limit." 🙌
— Bally Sports Florida: Magic (@BallyMagic) January 24, 2023
Isaac is rejoining a Magic team that’s far different than the one he last played on. Rookie forward Paolo Banchero has certainly been impressive thus far in his short career alongside former Michigan product Franz Wagner.
If Isaac can implement himself into this inexperienced lineup and provide some leadership moving forward, the Magic undoubtedly have a solid chance to become a sleeper team in the Eastern Conference for years to come.