NBA Mock Draft: Ranking top 10 small forward prospects of the 2023 class

NBA Draft prospect Cam Whitmore (Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports)
NBA Draft prospect Cam Whitmore (Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports) /
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NBA Draft
NBA Draft prospect Julian Phillips (Gvx Ut Hoops Georgia)Gvx Ut Hoops Georgia /

9. Julian Phillips, Tennessee

Julian Phillips is another raw prospect that could have a bright future in the NBA depending on whether he lands in the right landing spot where he can develop at the right pace. Phillips is coming off an inconsistent freshman season in which he averaged eight points and five rebounds on 41 percent shooting from the field. Phillips is an excellent athlete and will translate as more of a slasher when he makes the move to the League.

He has the length and athleticism to be a good-to-great defender in the NBA but will still need to develop to the new game speed to get to that point. There’s one area of his game that will need the most attention to detail and it’s his 3-point shooting.

He only shot 20 percent from 3 during his freshman year in college and with how the NBA has evolved recently, I find it hard to believe that any wing player could be a greatly effective player in the league without a consistent jump shot.

On the surface, Phillips has the potential to be a really good player at the next level. But he’s going to need at least 2-3 years of development.