There may not be a more emotionally taxing career trajectory for a professional athlete than to be labeled a "what if" player.
Opportunities can prove detrimental to career. The same can be said of a poor fit with coaches or teammates.
But an injury-plagued career jumps to the unfortunate front. All of the external forces on a player broke in their favor. They found the right situation, the right element to find success.
But their bodies failed them.
Some of these players battled through injuries to prolong diminished careers. Others enjoyed strong starts, only to have them abruptly derailed by various ailments. Still others never took off, with injuries plaguing the players before they could even stamp out an NBA identity.
There's a mountainous level of talent among this group, with tantalizing skills that beg the question, 'What if they could have stayed healthy?'