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Meet the Newest Chicago Bull Julian Phillips

Will Gottlieb Avatar
June 23, 2023

Early in the second round, the Bulls swung a deal with the Washington Wizards to secure the 35th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, which they used to take freshman forward Julian Phillips, 19, from Tennessee.

The Bulls reportedly send “a couple” of second round picks to Washington. The earliest second they can trade is 2027.

“Our group liked him,” Arturas Karnisovas told media after the draft. “He’s an ex-McDonald’s All-American. Freshman, 19 years old. Multi-positional defender. One of the best athletes in the draft. 43 inch vertical. He can step in right now and probably can defend on our level.”

“He has a lot of things obviously to improve, but he’s very young and very talented,” he said.

“We just target the most talented guys,” Karnisovas said of the transaction. “Because our group had him much higher, we looked at a lot of things in the first round. It just came out that we had a good transaction in the second round. We got a good player so we’re really happy.”

Meet the newest Chicago Bull Julian Phillips.

Key stats

Box score stats per game

  • 8.3 points
  • 4.7 rebounds
  • 1.4 assists
  • 0.6 steals
  • 0.5 blocks
  • 1.3 turnovers

Shooting splits

  • 46.6 percent on two-pointers
  • 23.9 percent on three-pointers
  • 82.2 percent on free throws

Efficiency

  • 24.0 3-point attempt rate
  • 61.5 free throw rate
  • 53.6 true shooting percentage
  • 44 effective field goal percentage

Defense and playmaking

  • 1.6 steal rate
  • 2.9 block rate
  • 8.4 offensive rebounding rate
  • 13.9 defensive rebounding rate
  • 11.4 assist rate
  • 14.2 turnover rate
  • 19.1 usage rate

Strengths

Physical tools:

  • Elite size (6’8) and length (7′ wingspan)
  • 196 lbs
  • 43 inch vertical (highest at 2023 NBA Combine)

Defensive versatility:

  • Switchable, high motor defender with the ability to defend up to four positions
  • Moves feet well to stay in front of his man. Walls off drives.
  • Great hands, timing to poke balls away and generate steals

Slashing

  • Understanding his shooting limitations, Phillips likes to get downhill on the catch
  • Due to his athleticism, length and aggression, Phillips is great at attacking the basket and finishing around the rim
  • Has the size and frame to absorb and finish through contact
  • Phillips shot 59% on “close twos” and converted 13 dunks during his freshman season
  • Needs to improve handle to really break guys down on the dribble, but already solid if the advantage is created for him

Weaknesses

Shooting

  • Pretty much a complete non-shooter at this point. Only 24 percent on limited volume (1.4 threes attempted per game).
  • 23.5 on catch-and-shoot threes 😬
  • Stiff, rigid form but not totally busted
  • Inconsistent short and long, left and right misses

This is just a super brief scouting report, but I highly recommend watching this video breakdown from The Box and One YouTube page:

Alternative options

After watching the first round go by, the Bulls did find a way into the second round of the draft, but did they take the right player? Clearly the Bulls have a “type” — non-shooting, big athletic wings.

With a need for a point guard, shooting and a backup center, here are some other options I liked as much or more:

  • Andre Jackson – Multi-positional defender from NCAA Champion UConn.
  • Amari Bailey – play making point guard. Chicago kid.
  • Seth Lundy – sharpshooting wing from Penn State.
  • Sidy Cissoko – Big wing, defender athlete from G League Ignite.
  • GG Jackson – High level, totally unrefined scorer. Big forward.
  • Tristan Vukcevic – Sharp shooting 7-footer from Serbia.
  • Trayce Jackson-Davis – Play-making big from Indiana.
  • Terquavion Smith – Microwave scoring guard.

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