Julian Phillips became the latest Tennessee basketball player to hear his name called in the NBA Draft on Thursday night. Phillips ended up going to Washington with the 35th overall selection, before his rights were acquired by the Chicago Bulls.
We have agreed to a trade in principle to acquire the draft rights to Julian Phillips, the No. 35 selection in the 2023 NBA Draft, from Washington.— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) June 23, 2023
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The 6-7 wing spent one season in Knoxville, signing with the Volunteers as a five-star prospect. Phillips made 25 starts for Rick Barnes, averaging 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Phillips offered us all flashes, but failed to find much consistency at the college level. He was able to bring energy, rebounding and defense to the table, but struggled with his jumper and offensive confidence as a whole.
Phillips’ athletic toolbox is full, however. He posted the best vertical jump numbers back at the NBA Combine, illustrating why NBA teams are so interested in him despite the lack of production. NBA franchises bet on traits all the time, hoping that they can develop and mold them down the road. That’s what the Bulls will be doing here with Phillips.
Phillips is the fifth one-and-done selection in Tennessee basketball history. He follows Tobias Harris, Keon Johnson, Jaden Springer and Kennedy Chandler in that category. Rick Barnes has now produced 31 NBA Draft picks over his career, including nine one-and-dones.