The No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Markelle Fultz, is currently enduring what has become a Philadelphia 76ers' rite of passage: spending his rookie year watching from the sidelines as he rehabs an injury.
Philadelphia's other former top picks who have had to sit out their first year—Nerlens Noel, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid—have recovered and blossomed into fine young NBA players, and odds are that Fultz will do the same.
But imagine an alternate reality where injuries had kept one of these gifted, highly scouted prospects from ever becoming an NBA player. Fans would always wonder, what if?
The streets run ripe with ball players who had the talent but never played in the NBA for various reasons. Some ballers opted not to enter the league for monetary reasons (back in the day, most NBA players made meager, five-figure salaries). Untimely deaths have turned a few hoop dreams into nightmares. Some players found themselves a little too drawn to the hustler lifestyle. Other stories are more positive; some international players elected to ball out and stack paper in their home country instead of making the leap to the States.
Below is our take on the 30 greatest basketball players to never play in the NBA.