NBA Draft

Bulls trade with Wizards in the 2023 NBA draft, select Julian Phillips

The Bulls traded with the Washington Wizards to obtain the No. 35 pick in the draft

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The Chicago Bulls traded into the 2023 NBA draft with the Washington Wizards, obtaining the No. 35 pick and drafting Julian Phillips, the team announced after the draft. The trade is agreed in principle, but not yet final, the team says.

The Bulls sent "a couple of second-rounders" to the Wizards to acquire Phillips, according to Shams Charania. Karnišovas did not disclose the official transaction during the Bulls' post-draft press conference.

"Our group liked him," Artūras Karnišovas said of Phillips. "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 to obviously improve. We’re looking forward to it. He’s very young but he’s very talented."

Karnišovas mentioned they had Phillips much higher on their draft board than where they acquired him. Marc Eversley added Derrick Jones Jr.'s recent decline of his player option for next season "played a bit of a factor" in the Bulls drafting Phillips.

MORE: Report: Bulls forward Derrick Jones Jr. declines player option for 2023-24 season

Phillips, 19, played one season at Tennessee, earning SEC All-Freshman honors.

He averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He shot 41.1 percent from the field on 6.0 shots per game and 23.9 percent from behind the arc on a low 3-point volume.

He is lengthy, extremely athletic and a solid defender. He recorded a 91.3 defensive rating and 3.8 defensive box plus/minus in his lone season in college.

Phillips' 43-inch vertical he posted at the NBA combine is the highest in the draft class.

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