4. Jermaine O’Neal
Center Jermaine O’Neal is not a name that comes to mind when you think of Phoenix Suns basketball, but he did spend one season there in 2012-13. He is also an ideal player to put on this list, because he had been a six-time All-Star with the Pacers from 2001-2007. Quite the accomplishment.
By the time he got to the Suns however, O’Neal’s best days were behind him. He was also part of a quirky roster that included Kendall Marshall, Michael Beasley and the Morris twins, although young P.J. Tucker was also along for the ride. No surprise then that the team went 25-57, and Gentry replace Lindsay Hunter halfway through the season.
Those are not ideal conditions for a veteran like O’Neal to flourish, and he was pretty ineffective off the bench. 8.3 points and 5.3 rebounds were nothing to write home about, and he failed to beat out Marcin Gortat for the starting role. There is nothing wrong with Gortat of course, he had a fine career in the league.
But for a player of O’Neal’s previous talent, getting the better of his Polish counterpart would have been no problem. Instead this was his second last stop before a year with the Golden State Warriors. Had he hung on there for one extra season he would have won a ring, and he was arguably better for the Warriors than he was the Suns.