The wild Kyle Filipowski ‘girlfriend’ saga, explained as best we can.

Kyle Filipowski should have been a Top 20 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, especially this NBA Draft. When you’re a seven-foot stretch four from Duke who averaged 16 points and 8 rebounds, when most of the 2024 class is full of Hail Mary picks and “what ifs,” it doesn’t matter that there are concerns about your athleticism or shot creation — you get picked early.

Instead, we saw one of the more puzzling draft drops in recent memory. In the span of 24 hours, Filipowski went from being mocked as high as the early teens to falling out of the first round altogether — earning the unfortunate “reward” of turning up to the NBA Draft green room for likely first-round draft picks, then waiting all night without hearing his name called without getting picked (he was eventually taken in the second round, on Day 2 of the Draft, with the Utah Jazz selecting him 32nd overall).

Obviously, something had teams spooked about Filipowski, but nobody could have predicted how this saga would unfold over the internet on Thursday.

Concerns of an older “girlfriend”

The first reports of something being off in the Filipowski camp came on Thursday morning as ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony explained on The Lowe Post Podcast what he’d heard from teams in regards to the Duke big man.

“NBA teams are talking about the fact that they had questions about his girlfriend being so much older than him, why was he estranged from his family because of this whole situation. It’s a very, very odd situation. I personally don’t understand why it would cause him to drop like this into the second round.”

Just to establish things: Caitlin Hutchinson is being referred to as Filipowski’s “girlfriend,” however the couple are engaged as of April 18 — with the intent of getting married in August.

As it pertains to draft stock: Filipowski is 20 years old, and Givony said his fiancee is 25 — sure, the age difference is a little unusual, but it’s hardly the kind of earth-shattering revelation that would normally tank a draft stock. Similarly, there have been plenty of prospective rookies who have been estranged from their parents, and it didn’t cause them to fall like Filipowski was.

There was a missing piece to this puzzle, and it wasn’t long before the internet began to try and work out what was going on here.

What we know about Caitlin Hutchinson

An Alabama native, there is little concrete information on who exactly Filipowski’s fiancee is. Most information can be gleaned from past social media posts, which as of writing are still public.

Trying to ascertain Hutchinson’s age is critical here, and that will become very apparent in a moment. A Facebook post from December 23, 2018 shows Hutchinson graduating from Alabama.

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Another post Hutchinson is tagged in from Instagram shows her in a high school graduation gown in May of 2015.

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While it’s possible she graduated from high school or college early, if she stayed on a standard track she is either 27 or 28 years old, with her now being 6 years removed from college. Again, that’s not really an issue. As we’ve established, a 20-year-old dating someone in their late-20s might be odd — but it’s not exactly a major red flag.

But this is.

The prom photo

As people combed through social media on Thursday morning a photo of Filipowski and Hutchinson from his high school prom began catching everyone’s eye. It shows the couple together and is dated May 21, 2022.

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Filipowski was born in November of 2003. At the time of this photo he was 17 years old, and Hutchinson was (probably) 25 or 26. Even if we assume the first time they met was at this prom, that’s still an adult dating a minor. However, a now-deleted comment on the Filipowski prom photo from Hutchinson read: “one year with my favorite person.”

This would mean that they started their relationship when he was 16 years old and she was likely 24 or 25.

The Filipowski family weighs in

A critical component of this story, in addition to the relationship, were reports Filipowski had become estranged from his family over dating Hutchinson.

It wasn’t long before people claiming to be Kyle’s older brother Daniel, and his mom Becky were on Twitter explaining their side of things — and trying to track down Jonathan Givony to tell their side of the story.




If we combine the accounts of the Filipowski family, they appear to be alleging that Caitlin Hutchinson began a relationship with Filipowski as a high schooler with the intent of grooming him and converting him to the mormon religion. According to their allegations, that includes a long-term play to become engaged to him shortly after he left Duke, and with the NBA on the horizon. This appears to have caused friction between Filipowski and his family, with Kyle seemingly choosing his relationship with Caitlin over his family, and — again, according to their tweets and Givony’s accounting of what NBA executives are saying — severing a relationship with them.

What can we make of all this?

If everything outlined above is to be believed, Filipowski could be viewed as a victim. Again, if the facts outlined above are actually what happened, it would appear an adult entered a relationship with a high school basketball player, one who was highly touted and seemed destined for the NBA.

Then, the same relationship reportedly damaged his draft stock by making Filipowski either too uncomfortable to talk about in interviews, which scared off teams — or by raising red flags about Hutchinson’s influence on his life.

As of right now, it does not appear there is anything illegal going on. Filipowski is 20, his fiancee is in her late-20s, so they can do what they want. However, this story isn’t going away, and it may be only a matter of time before more information comes to light about the nature of this relationship and how it’s damaged the Filipowski family. At the very least, given how much this has blown up on the internet and appears to have damaged his draft stock enough to drop a likely lottery pick out of the first round entirely, it seems probable that Filipowski will get asked about it by NBA media at some point, when maybe we will get his and Hutchinson’s side of the story.

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