If we assume Robbins has connections with the team so his belief that Isaac may not be ready has credibility, then I wonder if we maybe should be worried that this injury was more severe than we thought (or his rehab has not gone well) and wonder if perhaps Isaac's career may be impacted if he has lost some athleticism or mobility (which were his main pluses at his size). And if this is the case what different decisions might we make both with personnel and contracts in the next few years.
How will Orlando Magic structure their starting lineup?
Let’s assume a scenario in which Fultz plays in the preseason and is ready to play in the regular-season opener on Oct. 20. But let’s also assume Isaac will not be ready to play.
The starting lineup that I think would be best for the Magic at the start of the season is this:
• Suggs at point guard
• Harris at shooting guard
• Franz Wagner at small forward
• Okeke at power forward
• Carter at center
This grouping would allow all five players to play the positions that they’re best suited for. Suggs can play off the ball, but I think he’ll be at his best with the ball in his hands, making plays for others and hounding opposing point guards on defense. Suggs projects as Orlando’s point guard of the future, so let him focus on playing that position before he’s asked to do a lot off the ball.
Again, I also think Suggs will be best served playing alongside Harris, not alongside Fultz (who doesn’t shoot or defend well) or Anthony (who doesn’t create for others well and doesn’t defend well). The Magic should regard playing Suggs alongside Harris as an investment in Suggs’ long-term development.
Is Wagner, a rookie who just turned 20 years old and still has a lot of work to do on his body, ready to start? Probably not. But which healthy player on the roster is better suited to play small forward than Wagner is? I don’t think it’s Okeke, especially in a scenario in which Isaac is not available to play at power forward.
Hampton could play small forward, but he might be more effective coming off the bench.