Could Isaac Be a Superstar Steal?

The view from 1-5 is not pretty.

Since the onset of the 2012 season, the Raptors have recorded the most regular season wins in the National Basketball Association. Doing this during an era of LeBron excellence and Golden State domination is additionally impressive. Yet as the old saying inevitably reminds us; “what goes up, must come down”.

After losing a series of valuable free agents, the Toronto Raptors have clearly shaken their contending status in the NBA. Furthermore, the re-signing of Giannis in Milwaukee has equally concerned fans about the team’s future. With this in mind, Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster are certainly working the phones league-wide.

At this early point in the season, I think the Orlando Magic could make ideal trading partners for the Raptors. Starting out with a 5-2 record, the Magic show some promising signs of development which may finally carry over into the post-season. Even more impressive, they have been doing so without star forward Jonathan Isaac.

Isaac is an absolute defensive monster, averaging 2.3 BPG and 1.6 SPG last season. Also, the 22-year-old freak athlete has daunting size at 6’11 with a 7’2 wing-span, posing a standing reach of 9’2. Toronto has watched Isaac lock-up Siakam on multiple occasions, even amid his previous hot streaks. Although he is still somewhat raw offensively, his numbers demonstrate a promising trajectory. Before tearing his ACL last season, he managed to average 11.9 PPG while connecting on 34% of his 2.8 three-point attempts per game.

Regardless of stats, the Raptors desperately need a player with his type of paint presence and intensity. Pairing Isaac alongside Siakam and Anunoby could bolster Toronto’s frontcourt enough to shut-down opposing duos like Tatum and Brown. I am certain Isaac is a player on Masai’s radar, and despite being injured goods at the moment, his market-value remains very high.

From my point of view, it appears as though Orlando wants to enter contention now. Considering Isaac’s young age, recent injury, media controversies, and strong supporting cast, I think the Magic could be persuaded into parting with him. However, the right price would likely end up being Kyle Lowry, a player which the Magic have inquired about many times over the years.

The frontcourt depth of Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, Mo Bamba, and Khem Birch could permit the Magic organization to make such a trade. Starting point-guard Markelle Fultz is currently backed-up by the rookie Cole Anthony, who is only two years younger than him at 20-years-old. Not only would Lowry help to cultivate these young talents, he would greatly enhance the Magic’s championship prospects right now.

A feasible trade could be proposed as Toronto shipping-out Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell in return for Jonathan Isaac, Evan Fournier, and a second-round pick. Of these assets, Isaac is the only player who will not enter free agency after this season. Fournier and Powell are essential rental-swaps, yet I believe Toronto would be receiving the better shooting guard overall. Also, given his international background (French) and style of play, Toronto could have a decent chance of re-signing him this off-season.

The additions of Lowry and Norm would certainly boost the Magic for this season, despite needing to give-up the injured Isaac and talented Fournier. Norm could adequately fill the void left by Fournier, and Kyle will push them into the upper echelon of contending teams in the East. Also, these two players will arrive with a degree of championship chemistry; similar to that of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.

Isaac and Fournier would be welcomed additions. Lowry will leave a massive void in Toronto; but I am confident this season is the ideal time to move him. Fred appears more than ready to take the starting reigns, and despite some poor performances, I also really believe in Malachi Flynn. Fournier is additionally known as the better playmaker at the shooting guard position, as he routinely averages 2.0 more assists than Norm, helping to make-up for Kyle’s departure. Lastly, the second-round pick is a necessary sweetener for the deal; considering the re-tool direction Toronto is headed. All things considered, this is a trade that could benefit both teams…

What do you think?

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