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Report: Magic sign Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac to big-dollar extensions

Jason Owens
·3-min read

With Monday’s deadline marking the end of the NBA offseason, the Orlando Magic have locked up two of their young players to long-term deals.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Magic have agreed to extensions with point guard Markelle Fultz and forward Jonathan Isaac, both players taken in the top six picks of the 2017 draft.

Fultz’s deal is for $50 million over three years, while Isaac’s extension will pay him $80 million over four years, according to the report.

Big step for Fultz’s career

For Fultz, the extension is the latest chapter of a dramatic NBA journey that saw him underperform after the Philadelphia 76ers made him the No. 1 pick of the 2017 draft. Fultz struggled to shoot and suit up for the 76ers over two seasons that saw him play a total of 33 games.

He shot 40.5 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from the free-throw line as a rookie and 41.9 percent from the field and 56.8 percent from the line during his second season, a stunning rate for a player of his pedigree.

Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) plays in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Markelle Fultz has a long-term deal in Orlando. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

He shut down his rookie season after 14 games with a shoulder injury that prompted him to see specialists. His second season ended after 19 games thanks to a nerve issues labeled as thoracic outlet syndrome. His agent cited the issues as the source of his shooting woes.

How will Fultz, Cole Anthony fit together?

The 76ers traded Fultz to the Magic at the trade deadline that season. He played 72 games in Orlando last season and saw his shooting improve along with availability. Fultz shot 45.6 percent from the field and 73 percent from the line, apparently showing enough improvement for the Magic to make a long-term investment.

Orlando used the No. 15 pick in this year’s draft on North Carolina point guard Cole Anthony. It’s unclear what his role will be alongside Fultz.

Magic show faith in Jonathan Isaac’s health

Isaac, the No. 6 pick in the 2017 draft, has emerged as one of the NBA’s most versatile defenders in his three seasons in the league. His 2019-20 campaign was cut short by a greusome knee injury that resulted in a torn ACL and will cost him the entire upcoming season.

Prior to the injury, Isaac averaged 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 1.6 steals per game. The 6-11 forward is able to defend players in the post and on the perimeter. The Magic are confident enough in Isaac’s ability to return to form to give him a long-term deal.

Other deadline deals

The pair of Magic players were among several members of the 2017 draft to sign extensions ahead of Monday’s deadline, including OG Anunoby (Toronto Raptors) and Luke Kennard (Los Angeles Clippers), who also reportedly reached deals Monday.

New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball was among the notable players who did not sign an extension.

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