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No. 1 basketball recruit Cooper Flagg signs with CAA for NIL representation

Jeremy Crabtreeby:Jeremy Crabtree04/22/24


Spring Transfer Portal Update - Monday, April 22, 2024

Cooper Flagg – the unquestioned No. 1 prospect in the 2024 basketball recruiting class – signed with Creative Artists Agency for NIL representation.

The Five-Star Plus+ recruit is heading to Duke, and he’s racked up about almost every honor possible in the 2023-2024 season. Along with being named the Naismith High School Player of the Year, Flagg was also selected as the Gatorade National Player of the Year. He was one of the top overall performers at the McDonald’s All-America Game in early April. Plus, in his final high school game at Montverde (Florida) Academy, Flagg led his team to the Chipotle Nationals title with 16 points, eight rebounds, six blocks and two assists.

NBA scouts are already raving about him. So, it makes sense to sign with a well-known agency like CAA to build his brand and strike NIL deals, even if his stay at Duke is short.

The sports agency based out of Los Angeles has a long list of NBA clients including Zion WilliamsonPaul GeorgeDevin Booker, Chris Paul, Andrew Wiggins and Kyle Kuzma. CAA has been active in the college ranks since the inception of NIL in 2021, working with Paolo Banchero, Bryce Young, Dillion Mitchell and Isaiah Collier.

“Our strong relationships with iconic and emerging brands have allowed us to create record-setting endorsement deals for clients across the agency,” the agency’s website says. “As the world’s leading talent agency, we have deep connections across film, television, broadcasting, music, publishing and digital. And through the CAA Foundation and other efforts, we support our clients’ philanthropic and advocacy work.”

Cooper Flagg next big thing in basketball

The signing is a big win for CAA. But it’s also a big win for Cooper Flagg.

The partnership allows him to build his brand, have somebody to negotiate contracts for him and give him the support to prepare someday for the NBA Draft. And from all indications, the preparation for the next level will come sooner rather than later.

Flagg has a $1.1 million On3 NIL Valuation. He’s ranked as the No. 2 player in the On3 High School NIL Rankings behind Bryce James. He’s also 17th in the On3 NIL 100, the first of its kind and defacto NIL ranking of the top 100 high school and college athletes ranked by their On3 NIL Valuation. The On3 NIL Valuation is calculated by combining Roster Value and personal NIL. Roster Value is the value an athlete has by being a member of his or her team at his or her school, which factors into the role of NIL collectives.

Safe bet for success on next level

“Cooper is the safest bet in this class,” an NBA scout said told On3’s Jamie Shaw. “I think he has a ceiling as a No. 2 on a good team. He passes it. There is defensive upside. The jump shot does have questions. But he does everything else at such a high level. There is no concern for me to him being a good pro.”

Along with his high school success, Cooper Flagg is also a standout on the international stage. In 2022, Flagg was named USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year after his performance at the U17 World Cup. He was the youngest player to win the award.

“I’m not sure there are any one-to-one comps for him,” NBA Draft expert Nathan Grubel said. “I think the way he protects the rim from the weak side changes any comps I could throw out there. His block numbers are outrageous. I’d say he could become a very strong mix of Gordon Hayward and Andrei Kirilenko.”

Cooper Flagg excited about Duke

Before he moves on to the next level, Cooper Flagg arrives at Duke with massive expectations. In fact, some fans are already dubbing Newport (Maine) native as the next “Duke Villain.” It’s a title he doesn’t shy away from either.

“I love it. Keep it coming,” Flagg said. “Call me whatever you want. It’s not going to change my opinion of myself.”

Cooper Flagg committed in October to Duke over UConn. He told On3’s Joe Tipton at the McDonald’s All-American Game that it wasn’t a “no-brainer,” but that Duke was the right fit for him.

“It was always tough when you’re in that position with a bunch of really good schools coming off of – like UConn coming off a national championship,” Flagg said, “It was definitely a tough decision because they’re both prestigious schools. How do you say no to either of those schools? At the end of the day, it just came down to where I felt the right fit. Where I saw myself more.”