On Thursday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac had an MRI, revealing a severe sprain and bone contusion.
An MRI on left knee of Orlando Magic F Jonathan Isaac shows a severe sprain and bone contusion and team plans to re-evaluate his status in approximately two months, league sources tell ESPN. Good news: There was no structural damage to ACL, MCL or PCL ligaments.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 2, 2020
John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com reported specific details on the injury, stating that it was a "posterior lateral corner" injury and gave a timeline about the same as Woj's.
MRI reveals that @OrlandoMagic F Jonathan Isaac has a posterior lateral corner injury and a medial bone contusion. Isaac will be out indefinitely and re-evaluated in eight-to-10 weeks. Operative and non-operative treatments will be considered.— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) January 2, 2020
The Magic also released an official statement on Isaac's condition:
Why is this news so important to the Bulls?
Chicago is locked in a tight race for the No. 8 seed with the rest of the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Heading into Thursday's game against the Utah Jaz, the Bulls are 2.0 games back of Orlando in the standings. The Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets are both 3.0 games back of Orlando for the No. 8 seed.
Isaac is arguably the Magic's most important player outside of All-Star center Nikola Vucevic. Isaac is second on the team in Net Rating (0.3) tied with Vucevic for the team-lead in defensive rating (105.1).
The versatile 6-foot-11 forward is averaging 12.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.4 blocks per game, all career-highs. The gaudy defensive numbers particularly stand out and put him in an exclusive club of one at this point of the season.
Jonathan Isaac is the only player in the NBA this season averaging at least 2 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. https://t.co/E1jEr0RpeV— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 2, 2020
Without Isaac in the lineup for at least two months, the Magic will likely rely on young swingmen Wes Iwundu and Melvin Frazier Jr. to fill the void at the forward opposite Aaron Gordon.
The playoff race is the main reason the Bulls should be monitoring Isaac and the Magic but there is also the off-chance that the Magic are looking for a trade to add some frontcourt depth. While extremely unlikely, the are permutations of a Bulls-Magic trade that could work financially.
The more likely scenario, of course, is the Magic trade with a non-Bulls team for help or simply stand pat as they await the return of their young defensive star.
Per Tankathon.com, the Magic have the 14th toughest remaining schedule in the league, while the Bulls have the 2nd toughest schedule the rest of the 2019-20 regular season.
UPDATE: After the Bulls' 102-98 loss to the Jazz, they sit tied with the Charlotte Hornets in ninth at 2.5 games back of the No. 8 seed (Orlando).
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