3 youngsters Cavs should consider as developmental NBA Draft picks

Emoni Bates, Eastern Michigan Eagles. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Emoni Bates, Eastern Michigan Eagles. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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NBA Draft
Julian Phillips, Tennessee Volunteers. (Photo by Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports) /

Julian Phillips, Tennessee Volunteers

When it comes to young defenders, few in the 2023 NBA Draft can match the skills of Julian Phillips. Standing at 6’7″ with a 6’11” wingspan, this 19-year-old talent is exceptional at contesting shots without committing fouls. His remarkable length enables him to execute better closeouts and excel in defending against pull-up shooters. Phillips possesses quick feet, allowing him to keep up with faster guards in open space. Coupled with his upper body strength, he becomes a formidable obstacle for finishers around the rim. In essence, he is a versatile defensive weapon that can elevate any team’s defense.

On the offensive end, Julian Phillips utilizes his good length to display craftiness near the rim. He has proven to be a capable finisher with both hands and has the potential to become an effective off-ball slasher, creating easy scoring opportunities. However, similar to Sidy Cissoko, Phillips’ ability to become a successful NBA player hinges on his consistency as a three-point shooter. While Cissoko has shown glimpses of shooting ability, Phillips has struggled in all aspects of his shooting game.

With his length, speed, and size, Julian Phillips is poised to become an impactful NBA defender. If he can develop a respectable three-point shot, he has the potential to earn a place in the rotation of playoff-caliber teams.

Next. 2 schools with the most No. 1 overall picks in NBA Draft history. dark

The one-and-done college era has led to an influx of 19-year-olds entering the NBA Draft like never before. Generally, prospects of this age group require significant development in certain aspects of their game. Identifying players who can grow and make an impact within two to three years in the G-League presents an opportunity to distinguish oneself from other organizations, particularly with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) rules on the horizon.