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2017 Phoenix Suns Draft Profile: Jonathan Isaac could move into the top 5

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6’11 combo forwards are becoming more and more common.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Florida State vs Xavier Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Isaac

School: Florida State

Date of Birth: 10/3/1997 (19 years old)

Current Draft Range: 6 - 12

Stats:

Stats via DraftExpress

Physicals:

Height: 6'11"

Weight: 210 pounds

Wingspan: 7'1.3"

Standing Reach: 9'0.5"

Highlights from Florida State

Offense

The NBA has leaned more and more toward the stretch four era over the last few years and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Jonathan Isaac falls into this category while also having the skill set to play the small forward position.

Isaac is extremely athletic for his 6’11 frame. He runs the floor well and has the ball handling abilities to bring the ball up the court on the fast break. Isaac also has great leaping ability, he can rise above the rim with ease whether he is jumping off of one or two feet. He tends to lean more to the two footed jumper type mold, however. He also finishes alley-oops on the regular. Issac is very quick for his height and combined with his ball-handling ability, he uses this advantage on slower big men to drive past them, mostly when they closeout on him. A disadvantage Isaac has athletically is his strength. His upper body is very thin, which stops him from being able to get all the way to the basket when someone makes contact with him. It also diminishes his finishing ability in the lane. A lot of times he settles for turn around jumpers after someone bumps him instead of taking it all the way to the hoop.

Isaac has good ball handling for his size but if he wants to slide to the small forward position in the NBA he will have to tighten up his handle. He has a few moves in his arsenal such as, hesitation dribbles, crossovers, and between the legs, which for the most part are effective against bigger defenders but smaller defenders are able to slide in front, stopping his drive. Isaac is more of a straight line driver and he uses his quick first step and length to get all the way to the rim.

Isaac’s shot is very fluid and he has good form but he starts his shot low, which makes him take longer to release the ball. This forces him to be more of an open shot, spot up shooter. However, while handling the ball he has the ability to pull-up for three pretty effectively. Isaac shot 34.8% from three on 2.8 shots per game. He also shot a respectable 78% from the free throw line on 3.7 attempts per game. Isaac shows a nice one dribble pull up, midrange game after closeouts. Isaac will need to raise the starting point of his shot if he wants to be more effective in the NBA but he projects to be a good three-point shooter in the NBA. He may need a year or two to stretch his range out the NBA three-point line, however. From inside the three-point arc Issac shot 59.3% from the field. He even showed flashes of runners at times.

Issac isn’t the best passer but he uses his height in the pick and roll to see over smaller defenders and find his teammates on the roll. He only averaged 1.2 assists at Florida State, which isn’t the best, but he only averaged 1.5 turnovers per game so he wasn’t necessarily making the worst decisions with the ball either. At times he would play too fast, causing him to not take the most effective shots when he should have passed.

Isaac made a concerted effort the crash the offensive glass and grabbed 1.8 offensive rebounds per game. He used his athleticism to rise up above defenders for tip slams. Isaac has a good feel for being in the right spot for offensive rebounds.

Overall, on offense Isaac has a lot of room to grow but he shows flashes of how good he could be in the future, which will have NBA scouts drooling over him as the draft inches closer.

Defense

Jonathan Isaac is complicated on the defensive side of the ball. On one hand he is a really good weak side defender and has great timing on his blocks, 1.5 per game, but on the other hand his limited strength makes it easy for bigger, back to the basket type players to bully him in the post. He tends to fall for pump fakes, which occasionally gets him into foul trouble. Isaac will need to bulk up, as most players do when they enter the NBA. If he does bulk up he will be able to guard stronger bigs with more ease.

Isaac has good footwork while guarding perimeter players and what he lacks in foot speed he makes up for in length, using his length to disrupt quicker players’ shots. He is able to switch onto point guards for a limited time in pick and roll scenarios and does a good job keeping the ball in front of him.

Isaac does a good job on the defensive glass. Even with his slim frame he still boxes out effectively and he uses his length and quick jumping ability to rise above players to get the rebound. He averaged 6.1 defensive rebounds per game.

As Isaac develops he will be able to guard small forwards more consistently on the perimeter and as he bulks up he will be able to guard power forwards more consistently.

DraftExpress Strengths and Weaknesses (Preseason)

Final Analysis

Isaac is not a complete player at this time but he has the skill set and raw talent to become a potential all-star in the NBA. He is the type of player who can really impress teams in individual workouts over the summer. If he does, expect him to rise up the draft boards and into the top 5.

Regarding the Suns, if they stay in the top three it is doubtful they would reach on Isaac because they already have Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender who have similar skill sets as Isaac. If the Suns fall outside of the top three, they would be forced to think about Isaac and if they can fully transform him into a small forward to play beside Chriss.