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Cooper Flagg huge favorite to go No. 1 in 2025 NBA Draft

Ethan Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Cooper Flagg is dominating the summer basketball conversation before playing a collegiate game.

Flagg has been the consensus No. 1 pick in the highly anticipated 2025 NBA Draft for some time. He's -500 to be selected first overall next June at available betting markets. The Maine native played high school basketball at Montverde Academy and became a national sensation while dominating AAU circuits.

The Duke commit will almost certainly play a single season in Durham, where he can showcase his two-way skills, including good defensive instincts and outstanding footwork, shooting, and playmaking. At 6-foot-9, Flagg has the ideal NBA frame and skill set for a wing, a position becoming an increasingly valuable commodity.

His legend grew even greater this week when he became the first college player to play on USA's select team since Marcus Smart and Doug McDermott in 2013. The select team is a group of younger players tasked with scrimmaging Team USA's Olympic squad to help it prepare for the upcoming Summer Games.

Flagg's performance in a scrimmage against a team filled with future Hall of Famers and the NBA's best players has led to the basketball universe thinking ahead to the 2025 draft and the potential legendary prospect entering the league.

Flagg hit pull-up jumpers over feisty guards and long bigs while demonstrating his handle and passing prowess.

There are no official stats from the scrimmage, but observers in the building and Flagg's competitors indicated he's the real deal.

"He looked like a hell of a player. He's somebody that's only going to get better with more experience. He's 17 years old coming in here playing like he's a vet almost," Kevin Durant said, per Michael Scotto of USA Today Sports.

After a wave of international talent joined the NBA in recent seasons, Flagg has the chance to be the best American prospect since Anthony Davis was drafted in 2012.

Duke is one of the favorites to win the national championship and Flagg will be atop the oddsboard for national player of the year. All eyes will be on the Blue Devils for a glimpse of the phenom before he enters the big leagues, and almost nothing will prevent Flagg from going first overall.

After a lackluster 2023 draft, it's not a coincidence more teams have shifted toward tanking for the upcoming season with the Wizards, Nets, Bulls, and Pistons in prime position to finish toward the bottom of the standings. The Jazz, Spurs, Raptors, and Blazers could join the mix.

The NBA, however, disincentivized tanking a few years ago with its policies that give the three worst teams the same chance of landing the No. 1 pick. Having one of the worst records no longer guarantees the top selection. The Hawks were in the play-in tournament last season and picked first overall.

Regardless, the tank for Flagg will be in full effect this season, especially because the 2025 draft is full of talent beyond him. Rutgers commits Ace Bailey and Dylan Harper have the second (+325) and third-best (+1200) odds to go first overall.

Sam Oshtry is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X @soshtry for more betting coverage.

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