CHICAGO — As it turns out, the Bulls end up making a selection in the 2023 NBA Draft thanks to a trade.
The team was able to swing a deal with the Wizards to acquire the 35th overall selection in the second round, allowing them to select Tennessee small forward Julian Phillips. Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Bulls are giving Washington a few future second round picks for this pick in 2023.
It would be the only selection of the evening for executive vice president Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley. The Bulls’ first round pick was traded away to the Magic in the March 2021 trade for Nikola Vucevic and their original second rounder went to the Wizards in a February 2019 trade that involved Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis.
A second round pick acquired in the three-team trade with the Blazers and Cavaliers in August 2021 was forfeited by the Bulls due to tampering in the Lonzo Ball sign-and-trade with the Pelicans in the summer of 2021.
“We just target the most talented guys because our group had him (Phillips) much higher. We looked at a lot of things in the first round as well,” said Karnisovas of the selection. “It just came out that we had a good transaction in the second round and we got a very good player, so we’re pretty happy.”
Born in Killeen, Texas, Phillips started his prep career in Blythewood, South Carolina where he was an All-State selection at Blythewood High School. He would finish out at Link Academy in Branson, Missouri, where he was named a McDonald’s All-American in 2022.
Phillips made an impact in his one season at Tennessee in 2022-2023 as he started 25 of the 32 games he played in for the Volunteers. Known for being an athletic wing player with strong driving ability, the small forward averaged 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.