Florida State recruit and potential 2017 NBA Draft prospect Jonathan Isaac didn't expect to be in this position. That's mainly due to Isaac starting his high school career as an unimpressive 6'3 guard for Barron Collier High School. There was absolutely nothing that separated him from an average high school player, as he averaged just 4.6 pointsper game as a Barron Collier sophomore. However, Isaac's entire world as both a player and a young 16-year-old kid changed.
As in between his sophomore and junior year, Isaac experienced a tremendous growth spurt where he grew inches to become 6'10. That growth combined with transferring to the International School of Broward allowed Isaac to quickly rise as a college prospect. With the new school, Isaac established himself as a force to be reckoned with as he averaged 24.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game in the 2014-15 season. He was able to build off that with a solid performance in the Nike EYBL (the premier tournament for high school basketball prospects), where he averaged 14 points, 6 boards, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 steals in 25 minutes per game.
Those moments helped vault Isaac from a solid 4-star recruit to a bonafide five-star prospect that committed to play for Florida State. However, before he could become a Seminole, Isaac yet again, but this time it was to IMG Academy. Since its inception in 1978, IMG Academy has become one of the biggest hotbeds for football and basketball players. The school has featured the likes of Anquan Boldin, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Michael Beasley, Earl Clark and Erick Dampier. Isaac did a great job in the task of trying to follow in their footsteps, as he led the team to an impressive 21-9 record.
Isaac has been able to maintain this high level of success over the last few years by being extremely versatile. Despite standing at 6'10, Isaac really looks like a giant guard with the way he works on offense, which makes sense given his past. In a similar mold to Kevin Durant or Giannis Antetokounmpo, Isaac appears most comfortable with the ball in his hands. Doing the primarily of his work on the perimeter, Isaac is a tremendous ball-handler where he shows tight handles and a great crossover that he's utilized to make some incredible plays. That's shown in the play below as Isaac crosses up a guard and finishes with a pretty finger roll.
Alongside those handles, Isaac might be one of the more fluid athletes in the class of 2016, whether they'd be front or back-court players. his speed and athleticism allow him to be an absolute threat in transition, as he's absolutely fluid with the way he moves down the court. He's nearly impossible to guard once he gets a full head of steam as his frame and quickness make him a huge threat. In the half-court, Isaac has made many strides over the last year, as he looks comfortable with either on or off-ball cuts.
Alongside that ability as a ball-handler, Isaac shows plenty of promise as a shooter. Issac exhibits solid mechanics and range that could spread out to beyond the college three-point line. Isaac can also work off-the-dribble where he can use his solid handles to get separation from the opposition where he could then hit the jumper.
Despite that promise, there's still some tweaks that he has to make as his stroke isn't too consistent and the ball doesn't have the best rotation. Both the positive and negative aspects of Isaac's jumper is shown in the play below. While he lays a vicious crossover on the poor defender and ends up making the mid-range jumper, you can tell that the ball's arc is more of a straight line drive. Not fixing those flaws could create some issues for Isaac in the future, as an inconsistent jumper could hamper his progress as an offensive player.
On the defensive end, Isaac can utilize his frame and athleticism to can potentially guard multiple positions. With a main emphasis on defending guards, Isaac displays solid lateral quickness as he can stick with the player from the perimeter to paint. While he still needs to add some weight to his 6'10, 205 pound frame, Isaac is aggressive with defending inside the paint, as he uses his long arms to block the opposing player.
Those skills have allowed Isaac to be one of the best prospects in the class of 2016. Both Scout and 247sports have Isaac as a top-10 prospect, with them having him 5th and 8th overall, respectively.
That acclaim will put a lot of pressure on Isaac's shoulders as he makes his way to Florida State. Despite losing potential 1st round pick Malik Beasley, Isaac will still have a solid supporting cast surrounding him that include Dwyane Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes. Those players will help Isaac's transition over to the college game, as he can make the proper adjustments without the burden of being the team's main go-to weapon. That will allow Isaac to refine his all-around game which will both help Florida State and his own status as an NBA prospect.
If Isaac's able to fully grasp onto those opportunities and continue to progress, there's a great chance that we'll be seeing him as a lottery prospect come June 2017.