Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press
According to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, neither guard Markelle Fultz nor forward Jonathan Isaac will be ready for the team’s season opener as they continue to work their way back from knee surgeries. Robbins noted neither player has suffered a setback in their respective rehabs.
Isaac suffered a torn ACL back on Aug. 2 last year and had surgery five days later. Fultz underwent surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee back on Jan. 20, a procedure that ended his 2020-21 season after just eight appearances.
After an injury-plagued tenure in Philadelphia, Fultz made 72 appearances for Orlando in 2019-20, averaging 12.1 points and 5.1 assists per game. He was off to another solid start last season, posting 12.9 points and 5.4 assists per game prior to his injury.
With Fultz out, the Magic could have either Jalen Suggs—the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft—or 2020 first-rounder Cole Anthony start at point guard.
Isaac, meanwhile, averaged 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game back in 2019-20. Isaac’s performance helped the Magic make the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
With Isaac and Fultz each sidelined for most, if not all, of the season, Orlando (21-51) finished with the worst record in the league. With the team well out of the playoff chase, it decided to trade away stars Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic ahead of the trade deadline.