NBA

Cooper Flagg Has Hall-of-Fame Potential

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Here’s the pitch: Cooper Flagg is as if Kevin Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko had a baby, Paul George was the baby sitter and its childhood lone friend was a vicious wolf.

Yes, that line was just a little inspired by Adam Sandler in Hustle.

Flagg is the best American prospect since Anthony Davis. Depending on how the season plays out, he could be the best since that 6-foot-9 guy from Akron. He will definitely change the NBA fantasy sports landscape the moment he steps on an NBA court.

His talent will lead to a monumental ‘tank-off’, or as I like to call it, a good ol’ fashioned game of capture the Flagg.

He makes his money inside, playing above the rim. He is the most dominant inside scorer we have seen since Zion Williamson. He uses his body and powerful core strength extremely effectively, bodying his way to the rim. Once he’s there? That’s when Flagg makes use of his freakish 42-inch vertical.

But that isn’t the only way he can score inside. He also has a deep post bag, highlighted by skillful footwork at a level we haven’t seen from a prospect in recent memory. His ability to score with his back to the basket is just as impressive as his physical gifts. He can finish off post fades, hooks, floaters, and can draw and finish through contact efficiently. He also finishes well with both hands.

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Flagg also operates well in the pick and roll. While he possesses the ability to play as the ball-handler, the 17-year-old truly shines when he has the chance to play as the big rolling to the rim. He has an enormous catch radius, strong hands, and can adjust mid-air to finish over and around defenders.

But Flagg’s game goes well beyond that first dimension. He boasts impressive three-level scoring capabilities, with a jumpshot from both the mid-range and from beyond the three-point line.

The Maine-born prodigy can shoot off the catch, but also possesses a strong pull-up and spot-up game considering his size. His jumpshot is smooth with strong fundamental mechanics, capped off with a high release point that allows him to shoot over any defender. While he does need to become a more consistent shooter to unlock his offensive game even more, all the tools are there.

He has also flashed strong playmaking upside. He does well to utilize his offensive gravity to create open looks for others. He has a rare level of basketball IQ and court vision. While he isn’t the most efficient passer nor does he have the tightest handle, those are things he could easily improve on in an NBA development system. Should he reach the peak of his playmaking potential, or even just become a decent playmaker, he could very well become the most unstoppable, well-rounded, offensive force in the league.

And you won’t believe what I have to tell you next:

It’s on the defensive end where Flagg is at his very best. He is the best shot blocker in the class, with elite timing and anticipation. His combination of length and athleticism make for a scary sight.

It doesn’t stop there. Flagg is one of the best inside-out defensive prospects we have ever seen. He can step out on the perimeter and get a stop on just about anyone, one through five. He has active hands, and makes use of his aforementioned timing and anticipation to get himself into passing lanes. His length, core strength, footwork and lateral quickness allow him to stay in front of the ball handler with ease. He also does well navigating screens and staying attached to the handler.

He is the most well-rounded defensive prospect I have ever seen. There is literally not a single weakness in his game.

Flagg is a clear number one in the 2025 class. Nobody impacts the game like he does, on both ends of the floor. To compare him to anyone, he would be a mix of Kevin Garnett, Scottie Pippen and Andrei Kirilenko.

If I had to hedge my bets right now, Flagg is a first-ballot Hall of Famer when it is all said and done.

About Nic Thomas

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