NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Jonathan Isaac

by Jonah Ballow
NYKnicks.com
@jonahballow

The Path
Jonathan Isaac flirted with an unpreceded move to bypass one season in college and enter the NBA Draft in 2016.  However, Isaac opted for the traditional route with a season at Florida State University before joining the draft pool in 2017.  The Bronx native hopped around to two different high schools and the IMG Academy in Florida.  As a five-star recruit, Isaac established himself as one of the top two-way players in the country during his freshman campaign at Florida State.  Isaac helped the Seminoles earn the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and his squad reached the round of 32 before suffering a loss to Xavier.  With the opportunity to become a lottery pick, Isaac entered the NBA Draft and forego his final three seasons of eligibility at Florida State.

Strengths
Isaac’s height and length (7’1” wingspan) fits the prototype for the NBA wing.  The height and athleticism allow Isaac to play the 3 or 4 along with defending multiple positions on the floor.  Isaac hit 3s at a decent clip this past season (34.8%) while remaining extremely efficient from the floor (50.8%) in 26.2 minutes per game.  He’s active and aggressive in the open floor, searching for high-rising finishes at the rim.  Scouts are intrigued by his defensive prowess as seen in the season-long stats – averaging 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.

Next Level
The analytics project Isaac as arguably the top prospect in this year’s NBA Draft.  While Isaac will need to improve his shooting consistency, mechanics, and build his frame, the upside is going to be hard to pass for teams on June 22.  NBA teams are attempting to adjust to the modern style of game where 3-and-D players shine and versatility is at a premium.  Most mock drafts target Isaac as the sixth or seventh pick, either going to Orlando or Minnesota.

Statistically Speaking
As mentioned above, Isaac’s advanced analytics are off the charts.  His offensive rating at Florida State was 122.2 and defensive rating was 93.6.  When glancing at Isaac’s Per 40, he projects to average 18.3 points, 12 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, and 1.8 steals per game.  He finished with a 25.1 PER.

What They’re Saying
“His combination of size and skill set is highly alluring for a number of NBA teams willing to be patient while his body catches up with his talent.” – Chad Ford, ESPN.com