project (prahj'-ekt) noun. A player with untapped potential, whether real or merely imagined.

Usage example:
Greg Ostertag has been a decade-long project for the Utah Jazz.

Word Usage: The term "project" is almost always a career-killer. While it is sometimes used to refer to players who turn pro immediately after graduating from high school (and therefore lack the polish of older players who have attended college), it is more often used to describe a player with some tangible physical skill or natural ability -- usually immense athleticism or height -- that should make that player better than he is. Some people, most notably
Greg Ostertag and Michael Olowokandi, have maintained their "project" status well into their 30s, by which time it has become obvious to almost everyone (except NBA coaches and general managers, of course) that the player's breakout year is never going to happen. Unless you call 6 points and 4 rebounds a "breakout year," in which case it already happened.

Ostertag is the eternal project.