Saturday, July 13, 2024

Kevin Durant: Duke’s Cooper Flagg Looks Like ‘Hell of a Player’ in Team USA Camp

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LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 8:   Cooper Flagg #31 of the USAB Mens Select Team looks on during the USAB Men's Training Camp on July 8, 2024 at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Incoming Duke freshman Cooper Flagg has impressed 14-time NBA All-Star Kevin Durant with his performance during USA Basketball’s Olympic training camp.

“From the sideline, he looked like a hell of a player, somebody that’s going to only get better with more experience,” Durant said Tuesday (h/t The Washington Post‘s Ben Golliver.) “17 years old, coming in here and playing like he’s a vet, almost. No emotion, just out there doing his job. That’s a good sign.”

Ben Golliver @BenGolliver

Suns’ Kevin Durant on Duke’s Cooper Flagg at USA Basketball camp: “He looks like a hell of a player. … He’s 17 years old coming in here playing like a vet almost. No emotion. Just going out there and doing his job. That’s a good sign.”

Flagg was one of 15 athletes named to Team Select to train with the USA Basketball Men’s National Team this week in Las Vegas ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics. The Duke prospect, who turns 18 in December, is the only member of the team with no NBA experience.

This is not the first time Durant has complimented Flagg, who is an early favorite to be the No. 1 pick of the 2025 NBA Draft.

“Young dudes, it’s hard to truly understand, when you’re playing against high school competition, you don’t know who’s the best of the best… but the intangibles that he has, and his measurables, and his raw talent, I can see that through the TV,” Durant told Rich Kleiman for Boardroom in February (52:30 mark.)

Durant continued: “When you’re 6’10”, and then come running up and down the floor like that, and got the instincts with the basketball like that, you’re only going to— if you work at it, and you care, and you’re consistent with who you are, like I said, showing up every day— if you show up every day, and be the best that you can be, I think Cooper Flagg could be one of the best players in the league for 15 years.”

Seeing Flagg play in person against a star-studded Team USA roster that features LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Stephen Curry apparently has not changed Durant’s mind, especially given the incoming freshman’s ability to hold his own on the court against NBA veterans:

NBA Future Starts Now @nbafuturenow

Cooper Flagg recovers for the slam 💪
Select Team vs. National Team Scrimmage 🍿

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