2017 Draft Profile: Jonathan Isaac

Class: Freshman
Ht: 6-foot-10
Wt: 205 pounds
2016-17 Stats: 12.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.5 blocks,1.2 steals


If you’re looking for sleepers in this draft, the multi-talented Johnathan Isaac is a good place to start. Yes, he is considered a high lottery pick. But no, almost no one is diving into the intrigue that is his set of skills. He’s flying under the radar early on in the process, but by draft night likely won’t be. At first glance, he’s a near 7-footer who should be a center. In reality, the Seminoles used him at power forward, had him guarding on the perimeter, which was eye opening, and he was a smash success.

Isaac made Florida State a much better defensive team when he was on the court. The Seminoles defensive rating with him on the court was 93.6, by far the best on the team, and one of just three players whose defensive impact resulted in fewer than 100 points per 100 possessions. It starts with his feet. Florida State used him on ball handlers and out hedging or switching screens to stay in front of the ball. If teams went small against Florida State, the Seminoles kept him on the court to guard on the perimeter. He did a representative job due to active feet. He was not as fast as the smaller offensive players, but he made up for it with his length to recover and contest or block the shot. He averaged just 1.5 blocks largely because he was only part-time defending in the paint. Getting through screens was an issue not because he couldn’t get through them, but because his sheer size slowed him down trying to do so. Added strength, quickness and technique work will help improve in that area should the NBA team he lands on want him to reprise a perimeter defensive role. One thing’s for sure: Isaac will easily be able to guard stretch fours in the league, and that’s a big deal given the length – a near 7-2 wingspan – he possesses. That length is also a big boost for him in stealing the ball. He’s got quick hands and routinely stole the ball from offensive players trying to cross him over. He also got in passing lanes.

Offensively, Isaac has a wide variety of skills. He’s got range out to the 3-point line, he can handle the ball to slash to the rim and finish. In face-up situations, he’s got a jab step, a crossover dribble, can spot up, can stop-and-pop – it’s a varied offensive game. All of his shooting from the field, however, needs to be more reliable. He did make 50.8 percent of his shots, but that number can be higher as he works on knocking down shots of all kinds. Isaac was also active off the ball: He made 27-of-36 shots from cuts and offensive rebounds. Isaac rebounds both in and out of his area, and on the defensive glass he can snag the rebound and bust out dribble.


A team looking for an immediate defensive boost with the patience to continue to develop Isaac into a highly-productive offensive player is his best landing spot. Isaac can play off the ball, he took just eight shots per game at Florida State, and with 20 minutes a night is likely to have a positive impact most nights.

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