Summer 2024

Orlando Magic sign unashamed Christ-follower Jonathan Isaac to 5-year contract extension

The Magic made sure 26-year-old forward Jonathan Isaac won’t be leaving town anytime soon by signing him to a five-year contract extension reportedly worth $84 million on Tuesday. Isaac was set to enter the final year of his deal in the 2024-25 season.

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The seven-year NBA vet is widely considered one of the best defenders in the league when healthy, but staying on the court has proved to be a challenge at times in his career. The Magic drafted Isaac No. 6 overall in 2017 following one collegiate season at Florida State, but his rookie year was limited to 27 games because of a right ankle sprain and a G League rehabilitation stint.

He became a starter in his second year, playing in 75 games, and was off to an even better start in 2019-20 before a left knee injury that January sidelined him. He made his return in August in the NBA bubble, but tore his left ACL, causing him to not only miss the remainder of the season but the following two seasons as well.

Isaac returned to the court in January 2023 before undergoing season-ending surgery in March of that year to repair a torn left adductor.

Last season, Isaac finally overcame his injury struggles and played in 58 games as a key piece off Orlando’s bench. He contributed 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 51.0% overall, 37.5% from 3-point range, and 72.0% from the free-throw line. For his efforts, he was nominated for NBA Sixth Man of the Year.

Coinciding with Isaac’s sustained return to action, the Magic improved as a team in 2023-24. Orlando finished with a record of 47-35, making the playoffs for the first time since 2019-20 and ending the season above .500 for the first time since 2018-19.

In addition to his basketball exploits, Isaac is also well known for being one of the most outspoken followers of Christ in the NBA.

 

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Isaac was featured in the Winter 2019 edition of Sports Spectrum Magazine and has been a guest multiple times on the Sports Spectrum Podcast. He wrote a faith-based book, “Why I Stand,” while recovering from his ACL injury. He’s even started a faith-based sports apparel brand, UNITUS, and launched the first signature shoes from an athlete to feature a Bible verse, the Judah 1’s.

“Being able to take the Word on the court with the Judah 1 this season has been a truly empowering experience,” Isaac said in January. “Seeing young athletes excited about doing the same takes it to a whole new level. I’m honored to be a part of providing our kids the ability to express their faith on and off the court.”

During the launch event for UNITUS, Isaac said, “I do see this as something that is bigger than me, bigger than all of us, and so for that I have to give glory and honor to Jesus Christ for who I am today and how this journey of following Him has blossomed into what we see today.”

In a July 2022 Sports Spectrum Podcast episode, Isaac shared his testimony.

“I was living my NBA life doing my own thing,” he said. “God came and found me. Why? Because He loves me, and He desires to be in a relationship with me, to make me better. So, I want people to gravitate towards finding out what a relationship with Christ is like and really diving into it.”

After his first NBA game back from his ACL injury, in January 2023, Isaac also pointed to Jesus.

“I have to thank Christ,” he said. “Being able to go back to my faith and say, ‘You know what? God has me on this journey for a purpose.’ I know that I was made to play basketball. I was made to give glory to God on this stage.”

Now, thanks to his renegotiated contract with the Magic, Isaac will seek to continue to boldly let the light of Christ shine through him in the NBA and beyond.

>> Do you know Christ personally? Learn how you can commit your life to Him. <<

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