2025 NBA Draft: The Maine Event

Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
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I'm happy that the 2024 Draft is officially in the books, so we can begin talking about the way more exciting and promising 2025 NBA Draft!

This draft has got it all. The consensus #1 pick is a kid from Maine, Cooper Flagg who will enter college basketball as the most hyped player since Zion. He grew up idolizing Jayson Tatum, is a destroyer on defense, and has a smooth offensive game that promises to score at all three levels. He re-classified in high school so he is very young, and won't turn 18 until December, meaning when we first see him play for Duke he will only be 17 years old.

Flagg's competition though is fierce. Ace Bailey, a lanky forward headed to Rutgers, was his main competition for the #1 spot on the recruiting circuit, has drawn some comparisons to Tracy McGrady. He isn't nearly as polished as Flagg, but may have even more potential, especially as an offensive player. He is joined at Rutgers by Dylan Harper, the son of Ron Harper, who unsurprisingly, is a big, physical point guard,

Then there is the mystery box of Khaman Malauch, a 7'2" center headed to Duke. Malauch is originally from South Sudan, went to the NBA Africa Academy, and possesses incredible physical ability. Scouts have not seen nearly as much of him as the other recruits, so it could be a situation where he blows people away and outshines even Flagg at Duke--or he is a lot rawer than people expect and he tumbles down draft boards--it feels like anything is on the table.

We've also got another elite French prospect--combo guard Nolan Traore, as well as Spainard Hugo Gonzalez, who are believed to be the two best prospects coming out of Europe. There are also just a bunch of other fun players to keep an eye on--Connecticut's Liam McNeely who could thrive in Hurley's system, Baylor's VJ Edgecombe, who has a whiff of Anthony Edwards as an ultra-elite 6'5" guard, as does Texas guard Tre Johnson, and just for fun, let's keep an eye on 7'3" Aussie teenager Rocco Zikarsky, who earned a little playing time at 16 years old in the NBL.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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Dec 16, 2010
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I've only heard a bit about the top guys, but the Celtics need to do whatever they can to draft Rocco. For....reasons...
 

Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
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I don't know what led them to getting Bailey. Dylan Harper at least grew up in New Jersey and his older brother (Ron Harper Jr.) was a star at Rutgers.
 

RedOctober3829

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Jul 19, 2005
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deep inside Guido territory
How is Rutgers getting such top end talent?
Dylan Harper has been around the Rutgers program ever since his brother went. He almost went to Duke, but the relationship between Pikes and the Harpers plus a good NIL package got it done.

As far as Ace Bailey, Brandon Knight has a close relationship to Bailey's AAU coaches plus he got paid obviously.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
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Apr 23, 2010
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Other guys to watch for this draft
VJ Edgecomb W-Baylor
Tre Johnson G-Texas
Liam McNeeley W-UConn
Isaiah Evans W-Duke
Elliott Cadeau G-UNC
Alex Karaban W-UConn
Mackenzie Mgbako F-Indiana
Adding a few names from this and @Kliq's post
Egor Demin, SG/SF, BYU
Drake Powell, SG/SF, UNC
Jalil Bethea, SG, Miami
Carter Bryant, SF/PF, Arizona
Donavan Freeman, PF, Syracuse
Kon Knueppel, SG/SF, Duke
Michael Ruzic, PF, Spain
Noa Essengue, PF, Germany

Duke has 6 players rated in Jonathan Givony's top 45 right now, and that doesn't include Isaiah Evans who Red mentioned above,
Cooper Flagg
Khaman Maluach
Kneuppel
Tyrese Proctor
Caleb Foster
Sion James (transfer from Tulane)

College Teams to watch for Draftniks (other than Duke and Rutgers):
UConn
Arizona
UNC
BYU

This draft is A LOT better than the one that just completed.

There's a chance that Risacher and Sarr wouldn't have even been lottery picks in 2025. Kind of amazing that there's one really, really bad draft sandwiched in between two drafts that are supposed to be fantastic
 

HomeRunBaker

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Jan 15, 2004
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This draft is A LOT better than the one that just completed.

There's a chance that Risacher and Sarr wouldn't have even been lottery picks in 2025. Kind of amazing that there's one really, really bad draft sandwiched in between two drafts that are supposed to be fantastic
Spurs have their pick and the Hawks pick, the Nets have 4 first rounders but at least two figure to be low (Knicks and Bucks), with their own and the wildcard in the Suns pick should they implode. I expect Boston to be selecting 30th. ;)
 

Swedgin

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Jun 27, 2013
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Vecenie's Mock Draft is up at the Athletic.

He would have any of his top 5 in 2025 (Flagg, Dylan Harper, Nolan Traore, VJ and Ace Bailey) going number 1 this year.
 

Auger34

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Apr 23, 2010
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Vecenie's Mock Draft is up at the Athletic.

He would have any of his top 5 in 2025 (Flagg, Dylan Harper, Nolan Traore, VJ and Ace Bailey) going number 1 this year.
He also has Malauch at 30, which is really, really low (something he acknowledges in the description)

Looking at the list, I think it's more like 8 or 9 than 5 too.
 

TomRicardo

rusty cohlebone
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Feb 6, 2006
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Is it too late to declare a territorial pick? It worked for Heindohn.
It will be interesting to see where the expansion teams are going to get their picks. I think that expansion will be a done deal as soon as the NBA sees if they can get an additional package from TNT.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Jan 15, 2004
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It will be interesting to see where the expansion teams are going to get their picks. I think that expansion will be a done deal as soon as the NBA sees if they can get an additional package from TNT.
I’m sure this will be a part of the negotiation process but historicallly speaking the last 6 expansion teams have drafted between 6th and 10th/11th (forget which). Vancouver picked Edey….I mean Reeves 6th, the others were Tortono, Miami (Seikaly), Orlando, Charlotte (Rex Chapman) and Minnesota (Pooh Richardson).