As the Monday evening deadline to extend fourth-year players came and went, the Orlando Magic were one of the teams to be the busiest.
With both Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Issac entering their fourth years, the Magic had the ability to extend one, or both of them and keep them from hitting restricted free agency next summer. With a little over half an hour remaining before the 6:00 PM deadline came and went, new began to break that the Magic had agreed to extensions with both Fultz and Isaac.
Fultz, who was the first pick in the 2017 NBA draft, and struggled with health issues in his first two years in Philadelphia, agreed to a three-year, $50 million extension.
Isaac, who is going to miss the entirety of the 2020/21 season recovering from a torn ACL, was rewarded with a four-year, $80 million extension.
Locking up both Fultz and Issac makes a ton of sense for the Magic, even with the injury concerns both of them carry. While Fultz missed just one game in his first full season in Orlando — that due to an illness — he isn’t far removed from having missed the majority of his first two seasons in the league.
Isaac too has had his fair share of troubles staying healthy and remaining on the floor as well. In his first three years, Isaac has only played in 136 games, 75 of which came in his second season in the league. Isaac missed the majority of his rookie season with ankle injuries, and missed the better part of last season with a knee injury, before returning and tearing his ACL in the NBA’s bubble.
It’s a calculated risk for the Magic to put this much money into two guys who have struggled to stay on the floor, but a risk the Magic had to take. Isaac and Fultz are likely two very key pieces for the Magic moving forward, and could be the anchors for a team that could look a lot different come the end of this season.
Locking them both up now also keeps them from being able to hit restricted free agency next summer when a lot of teams are expected to have ample cap space. Keeping them from hitting the open market allows the Magic to not only guarantee that they’re able to keep their two young guns, but that they aren’t potentially maxed out by a team, or put in a situation like the Sacramento Kings were with Bogdan Bogdanovic, who was given a 15 percent trade kicker by the Atlanta Hawks.
With Fultz and Isaac now locked up long-term, the Magic can shift their focus onto the regular season, which kicks off on Wednesday night.