Rumor: Tennessee transfer Julian Phillips leaning toward staying in draft

Former Tennessee forward Julian Phillips is reportedly leaning toward remaining in the 2023 NBA draft and forgoing his remaining college eligibility, according to Travis Branham of 247Sports.

Phillips originally left the option open to return to school when he declared for the draft ahead of the early entry deadline. However, after a strong showing in on-court drills at the combine, Phillips is focused on remaining in the draft and leaving school.

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The 6-foot-8 forward was named to the SEC All-Freshman team after averaging 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists on 41.1% shooting from the field in 32 games. He scored in double figures 13 times, including a season-high 25 points on Nov. 24 versus USC.


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Phillips entered the season with high expectations and was projected to be a potential first-round pick. He didn’t quite perform to that level on the court and is now considered a mid-to-late second-round pick after an inconsistent year.

Shortly after declaring for the draft, Phillips also opted to enter the transfer portal. He is viewed as one of the top players on the market and has no shortage of offers to consider should he change course and go back to college.


He will have until May 31 to withdraw from the draft and return to school but it looks increasingly likely that the 19-year-old will soon begin his pro career.

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Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire