Friday, May 24, 2024

Cooper Flagg Should Be Added To U.S. Olympic Team, ESPN Analyst Says

Must read

Cooper Flagg, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2025 NBA Draft, should be added to the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team, says ESPN analyst Austin Rivers.

Flagg is committed to Duke for the 2024-25 season, and Rivers played at Duke for one season before becoming the No. 10 pick in 2012.

“Grab Cooper Flagg, hell, make him the 12th guy,” Rivers said Tuesday on ESPN’s “NBA Today,” pointing out that Christian Laettner and Anthony Davis both played for Team USA as college players.

“The experience it would give him. You’re talking about grooming players for tomorrow and what that experience would do for these young talented players, especially in a draft class where you don’t have a lot of star power. Throw the biggest star in there, throw Cooper Flagg in there, it makes sense.

“[USA Basketball managing director] Grant Hill is a Dukie, get it done.”

The U.S. team already figures to be one of the greatest assemblages of talent ever, with LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid headlining the team.

Davis, Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, Jrue Holiday are also committed.

The 6-foot-9 Flagg is the Gatorade National Player of the Year and led Montverde Academy (FL) to a seventh national championship earlier this month at the Chipotle Nationals, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said he won’t be the 12th player on Team USA, however.

“Those days are over,” Woj said. “They are going to load this team with, not necessarily the best available player. And you look at Jrue Holiday, he fits FIBA Basketball.

“They’re not bringing in any college players with this group.”

Rivers then suggested another former Duke player and No. 1 pick: Kyrie Irving.

“You remember him in FIBA a few years back [in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup], he was the best player on that team and led them to a gold medal,” Rivers said. “He’s better than Haliburton. But here we are. Haliburton will be a good fit.”

Latest article