Bradley Beal ‘Cussed Out’ Fast-Rising 16-Year-Old During 1-on-1: Rumor

Bradley Beal, now of the Phoenix Suns

Getty Bradley Beal, now of the Phoenix Suns

There was an interesting NBA tidbit from Tuesday’s Starting Lineup show on NBA Radio, in which former NBA player and coach Brian Scalabrine—now a broadcaster for the Celtics as well as a host of the morning program with Frank Isola—relayed something he’d heard coming out of Jayson Tatum’s annual summer camp.

The topic was Cooper Flagg, the 16-year-old phenom from Maine who is acquiring quite an impressive legend among scouts and others who dabble in NBA futures. Scalabrine himself has worked out with and helped develop Flagg, and shard an anecdote about Suns star Bradley Beal.

“I heard a rumor that my boy Cooper Flagg was at Jayson Tatum’s camp and he was busting Brad Beal 1-on-1, and Brad Beal got mad at him. Started cussing him out,” Scalabrine said. “This dude is a major trash-talker. … So I guess the rumor is that Brad Beal and him were squaring off 1-on-1 and Brad Beal was taking it lightly. It’s a high school kid. Then Cooper started giving it to him. And I guess the rumor is, Cooper started talking trash and Bradley Beal got mad. Really mad.”

A rumor, sure, but anyone who has been paying attention to Flagg’s exploits knows it is entirely plausible. When it comes to mega-prospects in coming NBA drafts, Flagg appears to be next up—he is 6-foot-8 already, packed with swagger and athleticism.

“He will be the No. 1 pick,” one scout told Heavy Sports. “It is just a matter of what year he comes in. But even if he were to get hurt or something, he’d probably be No. 1 still.”

Cooper Flagg Was Dominant at Peach Jam

Flagg dominated the 16-year-old group at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam in Atlanta this month, leading Maine to a 4-0 record in pool play, and six straight wins before losing  the championship game. He averaged 25.4 points, 13.0 rebounds and 5.7 assists, chipping in 6.9 blocked shots as well.

A couple thousand miles West, NBA types were gathered for Summer League in Las Vegas. But there were ears to the ground about what was happening in Atlanta.

“I was texting a college coach I know while we were at Summer League and honestly, watching those texts was probably more fun than some of the summer games that were going on,” one general manager told Heavy. “The kid is going to be a star, as long as he puts in the work. The book on him is that he has a really good work ethic so you don’t expect that to be a problem, but you can’t tell with guys that young, how they will develop.”

The GM estimated that most teams would trade the bulk of its players for the rights to Flagg. “Oh I would guess every team would trade anyone except its top two or three players for him, if you knew you were gonna have him for 10 years or so,” the GM said. “He is young but he has a great feel for the game. He can shoot, he knows how to score, but he also passes like LeBron (James) did at that age.”

Flagg Could Be in 2025 or 2026 NBA Draft

On ESPN’s recruiting rankings, Flagg is listed as No. 2 in the Class of 2025, behind Cameron Boozer, son of former NBA star Carlos Boozer. Boozer is a potential No. 1 pick, too, and his team (Nightrydas Elite) beat Maine in the Peach Jam championship. But Flagg is considered better equipped for the NBA game and would beat out Boozer for the top spot, according to scouts.

It could be a moot point if Flagg, who transferred to Montverde Academy in Florida after winning Maine Gatorade Player of the Year as a freshman, reclassifies into the Class of 2024. That would put him in college next season, and into the 2025 NBA draft, where his top competitor would be big man Tre Johnson.

There’s still a long way to go before then, and we’ve seen top prospects quickly flame out in the past—remember, the “next LeBron” Emoni Bates was a second-rounder in this year’s draft. But Flagg is certainly making a name for himself. Rumor has it, you can ask Bradley Beal about that.

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