The NBA has officially invited Tennessee wing Julian Phillips to the 2023 NBA Combine. The announcement was made late last night, as the league gears up for the event to begin on Monday in Chicago.
Despite declaring for the NBA Draft, Josiah-Jordan James, Uros Plavsic and Olivier Nkamhoua did not receive combine invites. In total, only 78 prospects will attend the event.
James and Nkamhoua received invites to the NBA’s G League Elite Camp. Following the departure of B.J. Edwards to the transfer portal last week, Tennessee’s current roster sits with 13 scholarship players — assuming none of the four mentioned above return. Tennessee added Jordan Gainey, Dalton Knecht and Chris Ledlum out of the portal, replacing a lot of the production that they’re expected to lose.
Phillips, a former five-star prospect, never put things together at Tennessee. We saw flashes, but he never lived up to the hype that he entered Knoxville with. Despite that, his 6-8 frame and athleticism still offers plenty of upside. The once projected first round pick is now likely to go at some point in the mid to late second round.
Phillips averaged 8.3 points per game while shooting just 23.9 percent from three-point range. That will clearly be a point of emphasis at the next level as teams try to develop him.
His high point came early in the season in the Bahamas, as Phillips put up 25 points to power Tennessee to a victory over USC. He scored 18 points against Mississippi State later in the year, but the offensive output was far too inconsistent.
The NBA Draft is set for Thursday, June 22nd.