Jonathan Isaac of IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) made waves when he talked a couple of months ago of taking advantage of a loophole to become the first U.S. player to go directly from high school to the NBA draft since the league instituted its “one-and-done” rule with the 2005 collective bargaining agreement.
Isaac entered high school in 2011 at Barron Collier (Naples, Fla.), so his normal graduating class would be considered 2015. That might be enough to challenge the NBA’s provisions that a player must be 19 (Isaac recently turned 19) and be a year removed from high school to enter the NBA draft. It was a weighty decision, but Isaac said he ultimately stayed with his decision to go to Florida State because he’s not ready physically for the NBA yet.
The small forward says he’s 6-10 and 205 pounds. He’s grown seven inches in high school, but he has a lot more meat to put on his bones to survive an 82-game season against grown men. He averaged 29.5 points a game as a junior at International School of Broward (Hollywood, Fla.) and helped lead IMG’s post-graduate team to a 21-9 record this past season.
“My deciding factor was to look at myself and realize I’m not ready,” Isaac said. “I have a lot of lot of ways to go, a lot of work to do. My strength has been kind of my Achilles’ heel in basketball, so I need to work on my strength. When I took my visit to Florida State, it seemed their strength and conditioning program was great, so it was easy to make that decision.”
Some 2017 mock drafts list Isaac as a Top 10 pick and there are NBA scouts this week at the Jordan Brand Classic.
“It’s a blessing to be playing in front of (NBA scouts),” Isaac said. “It’s kind of overwhelming because it’s the first time I’ve played in front of them. Those (mock drafts) tell me I have a lot of work to do because I don’t want to be Top 10. I want to be No. 1.”