NBA Draft Player Breakdown: Jonathan Isaac

Leading up to the NBA Draft we will be analyzing scouting reports for various players who have entered their name in this year’s NBA Draft.  The focus of these articles will be on prospects who we find most intriguing and feel readers need to become more familiar with.  Please let us know if you want any players specifically @edupridepress.  All stats and videos are via KenPom, ESPN, DraftExpress, and YouTube.

 

Jonathan Isaac – SF/PF – Freshman – Florida State

Height: 6’11”

Weight: 205 lbs

Age: 19 years, 7 months

Projected: 6 (DraftExpress) 6 (CPP Big Board) 6 (CPP Mock Draft)

 

Background: After a battle between Kentucky and Louisville for who would be able to sign Jonathan Isaac, the Florida State Seminoles came out victorious. Isaac decided to stay in his home-state and travel over 400 miles to Tallahassee. Coming into Florida State, there were lots of questions about Jonathan Isaac being a strong rebounder and having a consistent jumper. Now, Isaac is being considered the best big man in this draft class and silenced all those who doubted him. Isaac was a huge part of this Seminoles team reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012 and started in every game for them this past season. He averaged 12.0 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.5 BPG, 1.2 SPG, shot 59.3% from the floor and 34.8% from long-range. Isaac was also effective from the free-throw line, shooting 78% for the season. Standing close to 7-feet tall, Jonathan Isaac is a threat on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. There are not many 7-footers that can shoot the ball the way Isaac can, making him a very intriguing NBA prospect. It should not take long to hear Jonathan Isaac’s name on draft night!

 

Strengths: Just by looking at him, it is not hard to discover Jonathan Isaac’s biggest strength. The 19-year old is nearly 7-feet tall with a wingspan of about 7’2”! Combined with his athleticism, Isaac is a rare breed that has NBA teams drooling over. Isaac uses every inch of his height, making him a unique defensive prospect. He has the size and reach to defend power forwards and centers, but the foot speed to defend guards on the perimeter. He covers the court like nothing anybody has ever seen and is a great shot blocker. Per 40, Isaac averaged 1.8 SPG and 2.3 BPG based on his stats from this past season. There just has not been a 7-footer in the NBA ever that could be a shot blocking threat, but also swipe the ball away from point guards dribbling up the floor. Obviously, Jonathan Isaac is not a guard, but can play the 3,4, and center position on the court. When running out to defend a guard on the wing, Isaac’s closeout is near perfect. He has such quick feet that it is almost impossible to drive past him or shake him off. Offensively, Isaac is slightly inconsistent, but possesses potential. His ability to run the court quicker than other big men makes him deadly in transition. Jonathan Isaac was normally guarded by his opponents big man who was not as versatile as he was. As a result, Isaac is able to take his opponents from the wing to the paint and vice versa. Hustle and effort are two things you never have to worry about with Isaac. He is a work-horse up and down the floor and gives it his all every play. These two things cannot be taught and make Isaac a popular name in a lot of NBA front offices.

 

Weaknesses: The reason Isaac is one of the league’s most intriguing prospects is because he has maybe one weak spot in his game. Jonathan Isaac’s mentality of being the go-to guy on offense is not always there. He sometimes looks shy on the court and does not always want to be the focal point that he could be. Playing sometimes too patient and too passive is something the team that drafts him will have to work on to make sure that Isaac doesn’t give up on plays. Other than that, Jonathan Isaac does not exhibit any weaknesses, making him one of the draft’s most polished prospects.

 

Comparison: Rashard Lewis

Ceiling: Kevin Durant

I am always hesitant to compare prospects to NBA All-Stars and greats, but Jonathan Isaac is too similar to Rashard Lewis and Kevin Durant that it is scary. Lewis possessed a lot of the defensive skills that Isaac has and also was a matchup nightmare. Lewis spent time playing the 3 as well as the 4 and could virtually hit shots from anywhere on the floor. His speed standing 6’10” was unbelieveable and he was almost impossible to stop in transition. Isaac is bigger than Lewis and has a chance to be an even better two way player than the two-time All-Star was.

Isaac was criticized a lot this past season for being “too small” for being so tall and did not use his measurements to his advantage. Well, lots of people said the same about a guy who just won the NBA Finals MVP, Kevin Durant. Durant saw his share of criticism from scouts all throughout the draft process, until he was draft #2 overall for the Supersonics and took the NBA by surprise. Isaac is no Kevin Durant yet, but has a story very similar to his and has the length to make him as dangerous of a scorer as KD. If Jonathan Isaac can improve his offensive play slightly and start becoming a better and better shooter, we may be looking at KD 2.0 in the future!

 

Be sure to check out our other Top 30 Breakdowns and NBA Draft Charts:

CPP NBA Draft Big Board 5.0

CPP NBA Mock Draft 4.0

Brett Siegel
I am currently a sophomore at The University of Louisville, majoring in Sports Administration and minoring in Communication. This is my second year being the lead NBA Draft Analyst for CPP and writer for Louisville Basketball. I am a huge sports fan that loves college basketball and watching the players transition from the college court to the big stage in the NBA! If you have any questions or comments, my email is bsiegelsports@gmail.com.