Cooper Flagg's sizzling Team USA performance shows why teams will tank for him

The 2025 NBA Draft is a year away but many are already excited for projected No. 1 overall pick Cooper Flagg, who put on a show against Team USA.
Cooper Flagg, Anthony Davis
Cooper Flagg, Anthony Davis / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

The 2025 NBA draft is a year away but many are already excited for projected number one overall pick Cooper Flagg. Flagg is one of the most hyped American prospects in recent memory, with only Zion Williamson being a comparable recent example. That attention will only be amplified since he will play for Duke and now after going toe-to-to against NBA stars as a member of Team USA's select team. 

With Team USA getting ready for the Olympics, they scrimmaged against the select team, composed primarily of younger NBA players in addition to Flagg. He took the opportunity to show off his skills by scoring against the likes of Anthony Davis. Having a 17-year-old hold his own against elite NBA players suggests that he will have no problem doing so once he makes it to the league and that Flagg might be worth the hype.

Teams will be lining up to tank for Cooper Flagg.

Much like with the lead up to the 2023 NBA Draft and Victor Wembanyama, several NBA teams will be lining up to tank for Cooper Flagg. The Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets, and Chicago Bulls could all be in a race to the bottom of the standings for the chance to draft him, with the teams with the three worst records having equal odds at the top pick. However, the changes to the draft lottery have made it far harder to simply tank.

After all, the Pistons had the worst record in the NBA in 2022–23 and 2023–24 but ended up with the fifth pick in each draft as a result. That won't stop teams from trying, with the Wizards, Bulls, and Pistons starving for an elite prospect with superstar potential. Flagg definitely has that, with him projecting to be an elite two-way forward who can quickly change the fortunes of a terrible team.