Julian Phillips

NBA Comparison: Derrick Jones

Strengths: Raw, physical specimen with plenty of upside … Phillips was a McDonald’s All-American and 5-star recruit … Had modest success this past year as a freshman at Tennessee, but reportedly has been shining at pre draft events … At 6’8″ with a near 7′ wingspan, Julian has great size for the wing/forward position at the NBA level … Athletic ability is elite  … A player with “defensive versatility” to ultimately defend both 3 and 4 positions …. Led the entire 2023 NBA Draft Combine in vertical leap, jumping an eye-popping 43″ … This translates well to being a great open court finisher, rim runner, defender and rebounder at the next level … Watching Julian play, what stands out is indeed his explosiveness … Along with the physical tools, Phillips is also a highly interested, gritty, and tenacious defender, especially on the ball, making him a terror for opponents … This should translate immediately to the NBA … Phillips will mix it up and take a charge, and can be relied upon to absolutely hound the ball handler … His tenacity can also be seen on the boards … He averaged a strong, nearly two offensive rebounds per game… Offensively, Phillips is very raw … Has decent finishing ability around the hoop … Can catch an alley oop, lob pass … 82% from the FT line suggests he can become a better shooter from the floor …

Weaknesses: At Tennessee, was used sparingly in the offense… Went long periods without scoring, sometimes looked disengaged offensively … Struggled to be involved offensively and was not very efficient when he did get opportunities, 8.3 ppg, 41.1 FG% … Phillips cureently struggles to initiate offense for himself and does not have much of an outside shot to speak of. He converted on just 24% of his three-pointers at Tennessee on just over one attempt per game … The physical tools are there … He will need to work on focus and consistency … He’d benefit from continuing to develop his handle … He was not asked much to playmaker nor create his own shot last season … Doesn’t have any specific go-to offensive moves … Phillips suffered from a bit of instability between his high school senior year and freshman year of college (he de-committed from LSU after the coach was fired and instead decided to attend Tennessee) …

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Overall: Phillips remains an immense physical talent and passes the eye test as a guy who can stick in the NBA for many years to come … He will need to work on consistency, especially offensively, and continue to tap into his defensive tenacity and potential finishing around the hoop … Getting into an NBA weight program should help him become a stronger defender and able to battle in the paint …

Notes: Measured 6′ 6.75” barefoot, 8′ 6” standing reach, 196.6 lbs and a 6′ 11.5” wingspan and a 36 inch standing vertical and a 43′ inch max vertical at the 2023 NBA Draft Combine … Was a 5-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American … Played at Tennessee this past season, but had originally committed to play at LSU. After LSU head coach Will Wade was fired, Phillips requested and was granted a release from his NLI and reopened his recruitment … Son of Kim and Chamberlain, who both served with and retired from the U.S. Army …

Drew Wolin 6/22/23

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