NBA’s one-and-done rule could end just in time for monster draft class
NORTH AUGUSTA, SC — For the past two summers, NBA scouts have been allowed to attend Nike’s Peach Jam and get an early look at top upcoming talent, especially the high school senior class who may be draft eligible. in two short years. In the case of Shaedon Sharpe, the most mysterious player taken in the 2022 NBA Draft, Peach Jam was the only place NBA scouts could see him play in a five-on-five competitive setting because he sat out all season at Kentucky.
Last week, several NBA teams were represented and remained throughout the event as the best players from Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League competed in the 15U, 16U and 17U Peach Jam divisions.
When NBA talent evaluators were asked what the best prospects were, it wasn’t someone from the top 17U teams, it was a pair of 15-year-olds brand new to the scene: Cooper Flagg, 6-foot-9 forward from Maine, and 6-foot-8 forward Cameron Boozer from Florida.
“This is the first time I’ve spotted a player with his mouth full of braces,” an NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. “They are young and there is plenty of time for both of them. [Flagg and Boozer]but there’s a lot to love about their game.”
Flagg had just won a gold medal representing Team USA in Spain for the FIBA U17 World Cup and has been the hottest name since joining the AAU circuit in April.
“It was just a good experience to come out and represent our country,” Flagg told Yahoo Sports. “This spring and summer has passed like a blur, pretty much. But I’m just trying to take it one day at a time and focus on staying in the gym and keeping working.”
Upcoming adjustments to the one-and-done rule
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he’s hoping for a change to the current 19-year-old age limit rule that requires players to be taken a year off the high school rule when they leave. went to the media earlier this month. At his annual press conference at the end of the league’s board of governors meetings, Silver said: “I think there is an opportunity [to change it].”
“His [based on] larger conversations than just whether we’re going from 19 to 18, but I’m aware: when I weigh all of these various considerations, I think it would be the right thing to do and I hope it’s a change we will make in this next round of collective bargaining, which will take place over the next two years. »
With this information fresh in the minds of the team, it was a priority to have an eye on the first wave of players who could effectively go straight from high school to the pros, which had not happened since 2005. The group in question is Flagg’s and Cooper’s High School Class of 2025.
That’s why, for the first time at Nike’s Peach Jam, there were multiple NBA scouts (some arriving 30 minutes before kickoff) lined up in court seats for 15U games.
Yahoo Sports breaks down the top high school prospects of 2025 which featured Peach Jam and five other top prospects who performed well at the prestigious AAU tournament and are potential future NBA players to watch.
6 feet 8 inches, Forward
Columbus High School (Miami), Class of 2025
Boozer is the son of former NBA player Carlos Boozer and burst onto the scene last fall alongside his twin brother, Cayden. Cameron is the early favorite to be the No. 1 player in his class and played the role during Peach Jam.
His body is already starting to fill out and he moves well with his 6-foot-8 frame, without any stiff movements, and already has good footwork in the lane. When playing alongside other players in his class, he looks like a man among the boys and easily fights his way to the edge.
At just 15, it’s too early to draw NBA comparisons, but if he continues to develop his perimeter game and tap into his natural feel in the paint, he’ll be a player on many teams’ radars if and when the one-and-done rule is eliminated in time for his draft eligibility.
Duke, Florida State, Miami and Michigan are all early for Boozer, with Duke head coach Jon Scheyer and two assistants and Michigan head coach Juwan Howard watching him regularly over the past week.
6 feet 9 inches, Forward
Montverde Academy (Florida), Class of 2025
No player has exploded onto the scene like Flagg. Hailing from Newport, Maine, the 6-foot-9 wing caught the attention of Power Five coaches during Nike’s first EYBL session in April. His first major offers came from Iowa and Duke. Michigan, UCLA and West Virginia soon followed.
Similar to Boozer, Flagg also plays alongside his twin brother, Ace, making for a unique dynamic whenever the pair are on the court. With his height, Cooper is able to easily maneuver into the lane around defenders. He loves to face, bring the defense closer and pass to take the step in the paint. He has a slick outside jumper that makes him a threat on the wing and pick-and-pop and can knock down 3-pointers with ease.
He’s the most disruptive on the defensive end, where he’s recorded 11 blocks in a single game at Peach Jam. His timing in the position and the way he pursues players in transition make him one of the best rim protectors in high school basketball, regardless of class.
“You can already tell at a young age, the game is so easy for him,” an NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. “He’s already an elite rim protector, has good shooting mechanics and, again, he’s still early days, but he’s a solid benchmark for Flagg for all of us seeing him for the first time.”
6 feet 4 inches, Guard
Great White East (Michigan), Class of 2025
McKinney is the first high school freshman Juwan Howard has ever offered to Michigan and for good reason. McKinney is a complete dog on the court and has a strong, solid frame at 6-foot-4. NBA scouts lined the small gymnasium to see him play multiple times and were impressed with how he creates dribbling separation and his high basketball IQ for such a young guard.
“I just want to show all the coaches and scouts that I’m versatile and can play anywhere on the court and impact the game on both sides,” McKenney told Yahoo Sports.
McKinney already has a handful of major bids, including Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Texas, Arizona State, Ohio State and Missouri. Scoot Henderson, projected among the top three players in the 2023 NBA Draft, traveled to North Augusta to watch McKenney play and the two planned to hit the gym and work out this summer.
Other notable prospects NBA scouts were watching
Justin Edwards, Class of 2023
A 6-foot-7 small forward, Edwards is one of the best transitional defensemen at any class with his long wingspan and athleticism. The new senior recently committed to Kentucky and will join five-star guards Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard. Edwards averaged 16.3 points and seven rebounds during Peach Jam, including his best game where he scored in all three levels, finishing with 24 points (8 for 14 from the field).
DJ Wagner, Class of 2023
Wagner is the son of former NBA player DaJuan Wagner and the grandson of Milt Wagner. DJ has been one of the top players in his class since he came on the scene in eighth grade and remains among the top players heading into his senior year. The 6-foot-3 combo guard loves getting down and is shrewd in the lane. His outside shooting continues to be an area of development, but he still finds creative ways to score with the ball in his hands. Wagner averaged 15.6 points and 4.5 assists per game last week and is still undecided, with his top schools being Kentucky, Memphis and Louisville.
Simeon Wilcher, Class of 2023
Wilcher is one of the best decision-makers on the court with the ball in his hands and is a solid guard whose first step has improved. The five-star point guard signed to North Carolina last October and seems like the perfect player to step in and fill Caleb Love’s shoes once he makes the jump to the league. Wilcher is a 6-foot-4 guard from New Jersey and completely dominated the Peach Jam, averaging 19.2 points (53.8 percent from the field) and 5.2 assists per game.
Dylan Harper, Class of 2024
Harper is the son of five-time NBA champion Ron Harper and averaged 15.5 points and 4.7 assists at Peach Jam. He is so strong with the ball in the lane and has great body control around the rim, absorbing contact from opposing attackers. For a player his age, he finds the open man perfectly if he draws a second defender on screen, and he throws accurate pocket passes to players who crumble when driving from the baseline. The scouts were encouraged by his readings on the wing and the way he let the game come to him, without forcing anything.
GG Jackson, Class of 2023
Jackson recently opted out of North Carolina and opted to reclassify one grade and is now heading to South Carolina in a year. Jackson was the No. 1 player in the high school class of 2024 before making the jump this summer and looked confident playing alongside older, stronger players in 17U for CP3, Chris Paul’s AAU team. Jackson is still a 6-foot-9 raw forward who is a solid rim protector and one of the most exciting players on the open court with the way he directs the wing to his waist. Jackson still has a ton of room for growth and was a prospect that intrigued many NBA scouts who watched him play.