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Where Julian Phillips Lands in Last-Minute Mock Drafts

Julian Phillips
Tennessee wing Julian Phillips. Photo via Tennessee Athletics.

Former Tennessee wing Julian Phillips is anticipating his name being called at the 2023 NBA Draft in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Center on Thursday night.

Phillips spent one year at Tennessee en route to the NBA. The South Carolina native by way of Link Academy in Missouri started 25 of the 32 games that he played in for Rick Barnes’ Volunteers last season. The 6-foot-8, 198-pound wing averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 41.1 percent from the floor and 23.9 percent from behind the arc.

In the weeks after Tennessee’s season, Phillips had multiple options on the table in regard to his basketball future. Rick Barnes told the media on April 19 that Phillips was going through the NBA process and eventually received an invitation to the NBA Combine in mid-May. On the same day that he earned the combine invitation, though, Phillips also reportedly entered the transfer portal to keep his options open.

Then, on May 31, the final day for collegiate players to withdraw from the NBA Draft pool while maintaining eligibility in college, ESPN reported that Phillips was set to stay in the draft, which leads us to the big event on Thursday night in Brooklyn.

Phillips has widely been projected as a fringe-first, likely early second-round draft pick. It seems plausible that Phillips will land somewhere between picks 30 and 40 based on mock drafts from the last few weeks.

Julian Phillips is looking to become the 7th former Tennessee player currently in the NBA. Phillips will join Tobias Harris (Philadelphia), Keon Johnson (Portland), Josh Richardson (New Orleans), Admiral Schofield (Orlando), Jaden Springer (Philadelphia), and Grant Williams (Boston) in the league. Keep a watchful eye out on Thursday, though, as both Williams and Harris could potentially be on the move due to draft-day trades on Thursday night.

The 2023 NBA Draft will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 22, and will be broadcasted on ESPN and ABC.

More from RTI: Tennessee Basketball Announces Non-Conference Matchup With North Carolina State

Here’s a look at some of the final last-minute mock draft projections for former Tennessee wing Julian Phillips:


  • Round 2, Pick No. 35 – Washington Wizards

Yahoo Sports

  • Round 1, Pick 29 – Denver Nuggets (reported trade with Indiana)
  • “Although he’ll need some development and might spend some time in the G League, Phillips has a ton of upside on the wing position and could have been a projected lottery pick in next year’s draft.” – Krysten Peek

Bleacher Report

  • Round 2, Pick No. 37 – Oklahoma City Thunder (via Washington Wizards)
  • “The former McDonald’s All-American is starting to be seen as a buy-low pick after he measured near 6-foot-7 in socks, won athletic testing and presumably shot worse than he’s capable of at Tennessee.” – Jonathan Wasserman


  • Round 2, Pick 33 – San Antonio Spurs

SB Nation

  • Round 2, Pick No. 37 – Denver Nuggets (NBA Champions)

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