The 2025 NBA draft just got another potential franchise-altering player
The San Antonio Spurs just got their future franchise player in the form of Victor Wembanyama, but every Batman needs his Robin. It’s never too early to look forward to the next player that could become his running-mate.
Last week, it was announced that Maine high school phenom Cooper Flagg would reclassify to the 2024 recruiting class, making him NBA draft eligible in 2025. Even though he is 16-years-old, Flagg is widely considered to be the best player in high school basketball right now. He will likely be the consensus number-one pick in the 2025 NBA draft.
At 6-9, 200 pounds, Flagg dominated the summer U17 AAU circuit. He was routinely putting up monster stat lines like his 38 point, 16 rebound, 11 block triple-double, and he’s not just doing this against kids who are just looking for a break from history class. At Peach Jam, he put up 21 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks against Carlos Boozer’s twin sons, who are largely considered to be some of the best high school players in the nation.
Flagg is an elite defender who is holding his opponents to below 40% (FOURTY PERCENT) shooting at the rim. That is almost unheard of rim protection. He’s a fiery competitor with elite athleticism and high basketball IQ. He’s an adept passer out of the short roll and double-teams. Despite not being a knock down shooter yet, he’s an off-ball menace with his savvy cutting ability and strong rim finishes. Adam Spinella from the Box and One has a great break down of what makes Flagg’s game so special.
Wembanyama was the most hyped prospect since LeBron James, but had Wemby chosen jai alai instead of basketball, that honor would’ve been Flagg’s. He also may just be a perfect fit alongside Wembanyama and totally attainable for the Spurs in the 2025 draft.
San Antonio will have two unprotected picks in 2025: their own and the Atlanta Hawks’ pick from the Dejounte Murray trade. They also have the Chicago Bulls ‘25 pick that’s top-10 protected. They could potentially have the Charlotte Hornets’ lottery protected pick and the Toronto Raptors top-6 protected pick if they don’t convey in the 2024 draft. So in the best-case scenario, San Antonio could have five first round picks in 2025.
Atlanta is a good team right now but could be a ticking time bomb if things don’t work out for Trae Young, Murray and Co. It’s possible things don’t go well next season, and a once promising young roster could be at the doorstep of disaster.
As for San Antonio, it’s tough to tell what position they will be in going into the 2025 draft. That will largely depend on how good Wembanyama is early in his career and how the roster develops around him.
The Memphis Grizzlies are a good example of a team who drafted a young star and quickly became a contender. Just a year after Ja Morant’s rookie season, the Grizzlies went 38-34 and made the playoffs. In year three of Morant’s career, they went 56-26 and lost in the second round. That’s a near best-case-scenario for a young team.
What if it doesn’t go so well? Look at the very same draft class and Zion Williamson. In year three, the New Orleans Pelicans barely made the play-in game with a 36-46 record in large part because of how few games Zion played. It’s not a guarantee that a young star leads a franchise to immediate postseason success.
If the Spurs immediate future looks more like the Pelicans’ than the Grizzlies’, they could be in the running for Flagg. A defense featuring Wembanyama and Flagg would be downright menacing. Two uber-long, switchable defenders who can protect the rim is an elite combo. Offensively, they both can play off-ball or score with the ball in their hands. Flagg would thrive in the Spurs system that emphasizes off-ball movement, cutting, screening and high post play. It would be a basketball match made in heaven.
Look, the last thing anyone wants to hear after a bottom-three finish is that the team will still be there in two more years. This is a team that needs to develop and satisfy a fanbase that wants to get back to winning. Basketball is an unpredictable sport, and a lot could trasnpire over the course of the next two seasons.
Even if things go right, the Spurs have multiple draft picks that could allow them to compete and land Flagg. Regardless of what happens, he is a talented player who would be a great fit for the team they are building. If nothing else, he’s someone Spurs fans should keep their eyes out for when he heads for college in a year.