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  Debate

Debate

At just 17, Cooper Flagg is already turning heads. Is he the future of the NBA?

With the 2024 Paris Olympics less than three weeks away, the city of Vegas played host to Team USA for a multi-day training camp. Interestingly, the main talk of the town wasn’t LeBron James, Stephen Curry, or Kevin Durant. Rather, it was the 17-year-old Duke Blue Devils’ player Cooper Flagg. An anticipated first-round pick of the 2025 NBA Draft, the player was invited to the camp as part of the USA Select Team.

He didn’t waste any time in making a mark for himself. His stats and overall prowess during the 3-day stint were enough to earn him praise not only from the Select Team coaching staff but also from members of the NBA fraternity. NBA reporter Zion O. revealed that Cooper Flagg is matching himself up with All-Time NBA scorer LeBron James, as part of a scrimmage.

The 17-year-old was also efficient against the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Devin Booker. Now, after having witnessed what the star has to offer, the latter has nothing but praise. “He wants it,” said Booker. “I know this experience. He’s going to take with him and move forward.” Cooper Flagg held his own against the veterans at the training camp, especially for someone who has yet to play a single college game.

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As per NBC Philadelphia, he dropped a 3-pointer over Anthony Davis, secured a baseline turnaround over Jrue Holiday, and pulled off an acrobatic putback after gaining a foul advantage over Bam Adebayo. These three are amongst the best defenders that the modern-day NBA possesses. There is a reason why Flagg is the first college player in 11 years to be made a part of both the Select team and the Training camp. He further dominated during the match against Team USA, which ended with the veterans barely winning 74-73.

Poll of the day

Is Cooper Flagg the next big thing in the NBA?

Absolutely

Too early to tell

No way

Only time will tell

“To be able to do what he did, not even playing a college game, let alone an NBA game, there’s no fear,” Jaime Jaquez Jr. asserted. “He doesn’t need the ball. He just finds a way to it. And the ball finds its way to him. That’s something that you can’t teach. He’s just got a great feel for the game.”

Another individual who did not shy away from sharing his thoughts was the coach of the Select Team, Jamahl Mosley. According to him, Flagg “kicked b**t here. There’s a respect factor for what he’s done. People who have not seen him play, as he gets himself going within the game, they quickly see what he can do.”

The 17-year-old fully made use of this opportunity and did not shy away from expressing his true thoughts.

Cooper Flagg shared his thoughts on going up against LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and other veterans: “They have no weaknesses”

Going into the Paris Olympics, concerns about the age of the main Team USA roster linger. After all, out of the 12 main players, 7 are above the age of 30. Fox Sports contributor Rob Parker recently highlighted his apprehension over the same, stating “I’m not  convinced that they’re going to win Gold.” However, if one were to ask Cooper Flagg about his thoughts, he would highlight that going up against the players at training camp was enough to give him a fixed opinion.

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“They can be any team they want to be,” said the 17-year-old. “They have no weaknesses, no holes. They can play any type of way and dominate. It’s going to be a dominant team that assets their will on everybody they see.” For a teen to have gone up against the likes of LeBron James, Stephen Curry, etc, and managing to not only survive but thrive is no small feat.

While it won’t take long for the focus to shift back to the Team USA roster for the Olympics, the name ‘Cooper Flagg’ won’t leave the minds of NBA fans for quite some time.

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Before leaving, be sure to check out some insights that Shaquille O’Neal’s ex-agent, Leonard Armato, shared about the Lakers legend’s infamous feud with the late Kobe Bryant.