2025 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: Loaded class must compel Raptors to tank this season

The 2025 NBA Draft is loaded with talent at the top, led by Duke forward Cooper Flagg. The Raptors need to lean into the tank this year to add another star.
Cooper Flagg, 2024 McDonald's All American Game
Cooper Flagg, 2024 McDonald's All American Game / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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No. 2: Nolan Traore, Point Guard, France

The line of players coming from France is not slowing down anytime soon, as they look poised to send another player into the Top 5 of next year's draft. The 6'4" Nolan Traore starts and excels for Saint-Quentin in France and looks like the best passer in the 2025 class, with incredible vision and pinpoint accuracy. He wowed scouts at the Nike Hoop Summit playing for the world team this past year.

Traore is not merely a passer, however, exploding for 45 points in a EuroLeague tournament game in May. He considered coming over to the US for college this year but is electing to stay in Europe, and after the last two No. 1 picks came to the NBA straight from France it's hard to argue with the results. Traore is light years ahead of the point guard prospects available in the 2024 Draft.

No. 3: Khaman Maluach, Center, Duke

Cooper Flagg will not be alone on this year's Duke team, joined by another top prospect in South Sudan's own Khaman Maluach. The 7'2" center has already been playing at a high level on massive stages, playing at 16 years old in the FIBA World Cup last summer; he'll potentially start for South Sudan at the Paris Olympics next month at 17.

A product of the NBA Academy in Africa, Maluach is a massive human being and can completely dominate the paint defensively, blocking shots and deterring drives into the paint. He seems to effortlessly rack up four and five blocks in a game or even a half, and he seems to have worked on swatting the ball to teammates instead of spiking it out of bounds. On offense he is more than simply a play-finisher, with some on-ball skill himself. Playing on a talented Duke squad could elevate Maluach or crowd him into a smaller role that pushes him down draft boards, but his size, athleticism and talent are elite, and his motor should drive him to making a number of impact plays no matter the setting.