Gilbert Arenas' career is one of the biggest what-ifs in the NBA. From being drafted in the second round to becoming one of the best young players in the league, he came a long way. If it weren't for injuries and controversies, he might have gone down one of the best guards of this generation.
Unfortunately, his career didn't go that path due to the aforementioned reasons. Speaking more about his career, he was drafted by the Golden State Warriors but soon left the team.
Despite him improving a lot in his first two seasons, he was just never part of the Warriors' future plans. That led to Arenas becoming a free agent in 2003 free agency, where the Washington Wizards placed their trust in the young guard.
The Wizards believed so much in him that they offered him a six-year $60 million deal, which the Warriors failed to match. Arenas talked about his thoughts on signing that humongous deal in an interview. Arenas shared:
"It was unreal because it never happened before, not that fast. During that whole season everyone thought that I was going to Denver because of Kiki VanDeWeghe. So Kiki used to be my trainer in the summer and then he became the general manager for Denver. So everyone just assumed, I assumed that's where I'm going... What I did in that time frame has never really happened. You know a player that plays over the mid-level, within that first two years. When I went into the free agency $51 million was already thrown at me. From there it was just weighing out the options... There was more money, like Utah offered about $70 million, but John Stockton just retired and I didn't want the pressure of following his footsteps since I wasn't that type of point guard."
It was quite obvious that Arenas had interest from many teams despite playing just two seasons in the league at the time. Ultimately, he chose the Wizards, and for the next three seasons, he performed at an elite level.
He became an NBA All-Star in all three seasons, but it was the 2006-07 season when his downfall started. If that hadn't happened, who knows what he could have achieved in the league? We will never know.