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Coach believes Bulls rookie Julian Phillips has defensive ‘gifts’

Heading into the offseason, the Chicago Bulls did not have any draft picks. They traded their first-rounder in the deal for Nikola Vucevic, and the two seconds they could have gone, too. One via trade and the other because of the violated tampering rules when signing Lonzo Ball.

However, Chicago made a move on draft night, trading into the event to select Tennessee forward Julian Phillips. The 19-year-old rookie is set to appear in the Summer League for the Bulls, but he is already turning a lot of heads with his high-level defensive play, according to some of the coaches on the team.

According to Bulls assistant and Summer League head coach John Bryant, who spoke with Julia Poe of the Chicago Tribune, Phillips has “gifts” on the defensive side of the ball.

“It’s too early to show it, but he has gifts,” Bryant said. “Honestly no one has really gotten by him in camp because he is just that gifted athletically. Now he just has to realize how he can use that as a superpower. I’ve only been around him for four days, so it’s hard for me to make any hard statements. But, man, he is gifted defensively.”

Bryant also noted that Phillips has begun to come out of his shell a bit.

“He’s grown in four days and kind of came out of his shell, and it’s been fun to watch,” Bryant said. “I knew he was an athlete. He can run up and down the floor, he’s a good slasher, good driver. But it’s fun to see his personality come out.”

Bulls fans should be looking forward to watching Phillips in the Summer League.

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Story originally appeared on Lonzo Wire