Duke's Flagg, Rutgers' freshman duo headline list of potential 2025 NBA lottery prospects

There have been two straight NBA drafts with an international prospect going first overall

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

A year after Victor Wembanyama ended a 16-season run of college players going No. 1 overall in the NBA draft, fellow French teen Zaccharie Risacher made it two in a row Wednesday night.

A college prospect could be back on top next summer.

Incoming Duke freshman Cooper Flagg joins a touted Rutgers rookie duo as possible headliners for next summer's draft, though multiple top international prospects are in the mix, too.

Here's an early list of potential lottery prospects for 2025:

1. Cooper Flagg, Duke

The 6-foot-9, 205-pound forward is the nation's top-ranked recruit who picked Duke over UConn in October after reclassifying from the 2025 class. He's got an all-around skillset with elite potential offensively and defensively. Offensively he can handle the ball like a guard and can finish inside from multiple angles. He's a transition weapon who runs the floor well and is an excellent passer. He has also shown elite potential as a rangy shot blocker.

2. Airious “Ace” Bailey, Rutgers

The nation's No. 2-ranked recruit for 247Sports is a floor-running wing with length and high-flying athleticism. The 6-8, 185-pound forward is the highest-ranked recruit in Rutgers' history and offers a versatile game that has him comfortable with attacking off the dribble or knocking down 3-point shots with catch-and-shoot skills.

3. Dylan Harper, Rutgers

The nation's No. 3-ranked recruit for 247Sports is a 6-6, 180-pound guard who shared MVP honors at the McDonald's All-American game. He's capable of playing on or off the ball with 3-point range, off-dribble moves and the ability to set up teammates. He's the son of former NBA player Ron Harper.

4. Nolan Traore, France

The 6-4, 184-pound guard is a scoring playmaker and the latest French teenager headed for high-draft status. Traore, 18, drew recruiting interest from programs like Duke, Arkansas, Alabama and Gonzaga but told ESPN he would remain in France earlier this month.

5. Hugo Gonzalez, Spain

The 18-year-old is a 6-6, 200-pound wing from Spain with shooting range and the ability to attack off the dribble. He earned MVP honors after helping the Under-18 Real Madrid team win last month's Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament (ANGT) in Berlin.

6. V.J. Edgecombe, Baylor

Ranked fifth by 247Sports, Edgecombe is a 6-5, 180-pound guard who offers rim-attacking athleticism for highlight finishes with two-way potential.

7. Khaman Maluach, Duke

There’s high-end potential with the 7-2, 250-pound South Sudanese center from the NBA Academy Africa. He's still developing after playing the sport for only the past five years, but he runs the floor well, protects the rim, has shown shooting touch to go with a 7-5 wingspan.

8. Tre Johnson, Texas

Johnson is a 6-6, 190-pound combo guard known as a shot-maker and big-time scorer. His size gives him the advantage to work over smaller defenders and he's comfortable operating off the bounce.

9. Jalil Bethea, Miami

The 6-4, 170-pound guard scores off the dribble, hits from deep and showed off his athleticism by winning the dunk contest that was part of the McDonald's All-American game festivities.

10. Liam McNeeley, UConn

The 6-7 wing forward is a top-10 recruit for the two-time reigning national champions. The McDonald's All-American is a skilled player with valuable perimeter size and is known for his floor-stretching 3-point stroke.

11. Egor Demin, BYU

The 6-9 forward from Russia has size and can score in transition or off the catch. He recently signed with BYU after teaming with Gonzalez in U-18 Real Madrid's title push at ANGT.

12. Rocco Zikarsky, Australia

The 7-3 center signed with the National Basketball League as part of its “Next Stars” program for elite prospects. He's early in his development and turns 18 in July, but could be a floor-running rim protector and finisher entering his second NBL season.

13. Zvonimir Ivisic, Arkansas

The 7-2, 235-pound sophomore from Croatia followed coach John Calipari from Kentucky to Arkansas. He flashed tantalizing potential in limited minutes with the Wildcats, notably with 18 points, five rebounds and four blocks against eventual Final Four team Alabama.

14. Noa Essengue, France

The 6-8, 194-pound French forward has versatile skills and won MVP honors after a huge performance (33 points, 18 rebounds) that helped the U-18 Ratiopharm Ulm team from Germany win an ANGT qualifier in Dubai earlier this year.

Others to watch:

—Isaiah Evans: The 6-6 wing is a McDonald’s All-American and skilled scorer headed to Duke as part of the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class.

—Donnie Freeman: The incoming Syracuse freshman has a skilled offensive game and shooting touch, packaged in a 6-9, 190-pound frame with inside-out potential.

—Ian Jackson: The 6-5, 185-pound guard is headed to North Carolina with potential as a scorer and defender after scoring 21 points in the McDonald's All-American game.

—Karter Knox: The 6-6, 225-pound forward averaged 23.1 points for the Overtime Elite developmental program for elite prospects and is headed to Arkansas. He's the younger brother of NBA player Kevin Knox.

—Collin Murray-Boyles: The 6-7, 231-pound versatile forward scores inside and attacks the glass for South Carolina. Adding an outside shot (0 for 5 from 3) would make him an intriguing name to watch.

—Michael Ruzic: The 6-10 Croatian forward, who turns 18 in October, has shown length and versatile skill while playing with Joventut Badalona in Spain.

—Jarin Stevenson: The 6-11, 210-pound sophomore could see a larger role after Alabama's first Final Four trip. He flashed potential last year, notably with 19 points and five 3s in the Elite Eight against Clemson.


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Credit: AP

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