7. Anfernee Hardaway
Unfortunately for Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, he is a player who absolutely should be on this list. Which in a way is not fair, because we all know he is only here because of the injuries that derailed a career that looked like it had no limits.
Hardaway spent almost as much time in Phoenix (five seasons), as he had with the Magic (six seasons). He also went from a potential dynasty alongside O’Neal in Florida, to never fully getting off the ground next to point guard Jason Kidd. As a result of injuries, the duo nicknamed “BackCourt 2000” would only play 45 games together.
That the duo went 33-12 in that span gives us a tantalizing look into what might have been. Hardaway did play 251 games for the Suns, and appeared in two playoff series. In those 15 postseason contests, he averaged 17.3 points, and played a whopping 42 minutes per game. A big number when you consider how badly his body broke down.
But given the potential that Hardaway had, this is sadly a case of a player never having a real prime to speak of. He exploded onto the scene with the Magic, and that was as good as it would ever get. You understand why the Suns engineered a sign-and-trade to get him. But it just didn’t work out for them and he Hardaway was never the same player he had been for the team.