Potential crown jewel for Bulls rebuild reportedly embarrasses NBA star

Cooper Flagg, Chicago Bulls (Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)
Cooper Flagg, Chicago Bulls (Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports) /

Among all of the high school basketball circuit’s extremely promising up-and-coming talent, one name in particular has begun to stand out from the crowd as a potential franchise cornerstone prospect. The player I’m referring to here is Montverde Academy’s five-star recruit Cooper Flagg, as he’s caught the eye of many NBA scouting departments in recent months and should be firmly on the Chicago Bulls’ draft radar for now.

Flagg first began catching national media headlines when he dominated the competition at South Carolina’s famous EYBL Peach Jam, averaging 25.4 points, 13 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and a mind-boggling 6.8 blocks per game against some of the best talent this nation has to offer.

He has since shot up ranking boards everywhere as a result, now settling in as the second-best ranked prospect in ESPN’s class of 2025 — behind only Cameron Boozer, the son of former Chicago Bull Carlos Boozer.

But what’s really gotten people’s attention over the last few days, is reports that Flagg was repeatedly dominating current NBA All-Star Bradley Beal in a head-to-head setting at Jayson Tatum’s basketball camp. Former Bull and analyst for NBC Sports Boston Brian Scalabrine shared the story that has since spread around NBA Twitter like wildfire.

"“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… 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.”"

Regardless of just how valid this rumor really is, I think the fact that it actually seems rather believable speaks to just how interesting of a prospect Flagg really is, rather than any perceived petulance on Beal’s behalf.

Cooper Flagg could potentially be the perfect centerpiece for the Bulls’ next big rebuild.

Although Flagg will certainly be on the radar for several teams around the league, the Bulls in particular should be paying close attention. Cooper is currently on a track that would see him declare for the 2026 NBA Draft, which will be a very important year for Chicago. I discussed this situation more in-depth earlier this week, but what’s most important to know is that 2026 would be the year the Bulls’ are most likely to blow things up and rebuild if the current core does not pan out.

In this likely scenario, the Bulls would be going all-in on the Cooper Flagg sweepstakes.

“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,” one anonymous general manager told Heavy Sports.

Another scout offered an assenting opinion, claiming Flagg is on a crash course to be a first overall selection in the near future. “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.”

It’s hard to pin any player on this current Bulls roster as a guarantee to still be in Chicago three years from now, but that doesn’t truly matter here, because as a 6-foot-8 forward with tremendous two-way potential, Flagg will find his way into the lineup wherever he can. The Bulls will own their first-round pick in 2026 unless their 2025 pick doesn’t convey to the Spurs, but even if it does, the 2026 pick will still be top-8 protected. Keep an eye on Flagg for now, because if he continues his current trajectory and the Bulls decide to blow things up, he’ll certainly be seen as the crown jewel that could potentially carry this franchise back to global relevance.

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