3. Tyler Ulis
The most puzzling player to appear on this list, the story of point guard Tyler Ulis with the Suns is a strange one looking back. Certainly nobody could have predicted the former five-star recruit and college teammate of Booker at Kentucky would be out of the league by 23, but such is life in the NBA.
Ulis played two seasons with the Suns, and in his second in 2017-18, he started 43 games. To think that only a few short years later Chris Paul would be walking through that door to change everything after living through this experience, is reason for everybody out there to do the lottery. A player like Paul, Ulis was not.
His 7.8 points and 4.4 assists came at a time when the franchise were really searching for quality players to pair with Booker. At that moment a 24-year-old T.J. Warren was as good as it got, and Chandler at 35-years-old was still hauling himself through games. Such was the dearth in quality for the Suns, that Ulis started the fifth most games of any player on the roster that season.
Isaiah Canaan was also on the team, and in only 19 games and a single start, put up more points (9.1) and almost as many assists (four) as Ulis could manage. It is also telling that Canaan still plays at a high level for Olympiakos in Europe at 32-years-old. Meanwhile Ulis appeared in a single game for the Chicago Bulls, literally one minute of one game, in 2018-19.
As recently as 2021 he was in the G League with the Santa Cruz Warriors, but at this point is back in a coaching role with Kentucky. Why didn’t it work out for Ulis on a team that featured his best friend from college in Booker? Well, Ulis had a hip injury to begin life in the league, and later ankle surgery. He’s 5’8″ and weighed 63kg on draft night. Hard to stick under those conditions.