The Tennessee Vols‘ latest commit — five-star forward Julian Phillips — reportedly turned down a lot of cash from the NBA G-League.

According to, Phillips was offered an $800k contract from the NBA’s G-League Ignite program

The report doesn’t mention any NIL deals from a Tennessee collective for Phillips or what one might be worth for him.

Phillips, according to, is currently projected as the No. 15 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Link Academy’s Julian Phillips (5) reacts during the GEICO Nationals semifinal between Prolific Prep (Calif.) and Link Academy (Mo.), Friday, April 1, 2022, at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Fla.Link Academy defeated Prolific Prep 59-53.
GEICO Nationals 2022: Prolific Prep (Calif.) vs. Link Academy (Mo.) semifinal, April 1, 2022 Vols

Tennessee, collectives associated with the Vols, and boosters are all prohibited from offering money to a recruit to sign/commit.

But I think we can put two and two together here. It’s hard to imagine Phillips committing to Tennessee without the promise of a lucrative NIL deal from someone (likely a collective).

If you’re a Tennessee fan and you were worried about the NCAA recently flexing its muscle in an attempt to dissuade collectives from offering money to recruits/players, Phillips’ commitment to the Vols should ease your concerns.

NIL deals aren’t going anywhere. And Tennessee isn’t going to stop being the benefactors of those deals.

Featured image via Mark Zaleski/ The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK