4. DerMarr Johnson, Denver Nuggets Wing, 2004-07
DerMarr Johnson was one of the hottest basketball commodities of 1999. He won the Parade National High School Player of the Year that year and was part of the memorably talented 1999-2000 Cincinnati Bearcats team that also included Kenyon Martin. Both opted for the NBA draft that year, where Martin went No. 1 overall and Johnson went sixth to the Atlanta Hawks.
Johnson underperformed for most of his first two years in the league, though he did offer promise. However, just before his third year, he was in a car accident that nearly paralyzed him and threatened to end his basketball career entirely. Thankfully, he was able to make a slow but full recovery, and two years later in 2004, he reunited with Martin in Denver.
Johnson was able to wrestle the starting two-guard spot from the guy who hold the top spot on this list about halfway through the 2004-05 season. He scored an efficient 8.7 points per game in about 20.4 minutes, across 28 starts. Johnson was only a placeholder, however, and he faded back into the background the next year and was out of the NBA in 2008 at just 28 years of age. He’s now an assistant coach with the West Virginia Mountaineers.