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5 Cards to Watch During the NBA Conference Finals

5 Cards to Watch During the NBA Conference Finals

Ben Burrows

The NBA Playoffs are down to the final four teams, and some of the sports card hobby’s top stars remain.

From young stars like Devin Booker and GIannis Antetokounmpo to a veteran champion like Kawhi Leonard, here’s a look at five cards you should be watching during the Conference Finals.

Devin Booker’s 2015 Prizm Base PSA 10

The knock against Booker for a while has been “good stats, bad team.” That’s over now, though, as Booker is thriving in his first NBA Playoffs. Yes, having Chris Paul flawlessly direct the offense helps, but Booker has been the one pouring in the points.

Booker’s 2015 Prizm Base is his signature rookie, and a PSA 10 example has been trending up 28% over the last week for an average of about $980, according to Market Movers.

Buying the dip is always preferable to a card on the rise, but with Phoenix on the verge of its first NBA Finals since the 1992-1993 season, it’s probably better to get in a little late now rather than trying after Booker’s prices have completely exploded.

Deandre Ayton’s 2018 Select Concourse PSA 10

Along with Booker, Ayton has thrived in his first playoff appearance while proving to be almost unstoppable around the rim. He’s not quite a star yet, but he’s showing casual fans why he was the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

The good thing about Ayton right now is that his prices are extremely manageable for the vast majority of collectors. His 2018 Prizm Base PSA 10 is averaging about $92 over the last week, according to Market Movers, but there are potentially better options out there than an ultra-modern base card with a POP of almost 4,000.

Instead of Prizm, check out his 2018 Select Concourse PSA 10. A hobby-only product in 2018, Select has much lower print runs than Prizm and is quickly growing in popularity. This card has a POP of just 123 and has been averaging about $63 over the last week.

If you’re willing to spend a little more, Ayton’s 2018 Select Concourse Silver PSA 10 is trending at about $182 over the last 14 days and has a POP of just 47.

Kawhi Leonard’s 2012 Prizm Base PSA 10

Leonard’s availability for the rest of the NBA Playoffs remains uncertain as he works back from a knee sprain, and collectors can use that to buy the dip on his 2012 Prizm Base PSA 10.

The 2012 Prizm set has a lower print run than the ultra-modern sets coming out now, and Leonard’s top rookie is currently trending down big over the last week. According to Market Movers, Leonard’s 2012 Prizm Base PSA 10 is down 24% over the last week and has an average sale price of about $1,170.

Currently sitting around its lowest price over the last 365 days, we might be looking at the best opportunity we’ll have for a while to grab a future Hall of Famer with some prime playing years still left.

John Collin’s 2017 Prizm Silver PSA 10

Trae Young and his 2018 Prizm Base PSA 10 have been written about plenty in recent weeks, so it’s important to highlight some other potential buys with the Atlanta Hawks. Collins turned down a $90 million deal from Atlanta this offseason, and his play in the playoffs so far makes that seem like a good decision.

The perfect power forward for today’s NBA, Collins can catch lobs running to the rim or he can hit spot-up 3s from the corner. He’s been highly efficient in the playoffs — a hilarious dunk over Joel Embiid helps, too — and could be in for a massive payday as a restricted free agent this offseason.

Whether it’s with Atlanta or a new team next season, Collins is a young player collectors should be watching closely because of lower prices and populations. Collin’s 2017 Prizm Silver PSA 10 is up 31% over the last 14 days, but is still averaging just over $200 with a POP of just 278.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 2013 Select Base PSA 10

Despite sweeping the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, some serious struggles against Brooklyn in the second round have created some doubt about Milwaukee’s title chances.

Antetokounmpo’s status in the hobby is pretty well-established as a megastar, so it’s hard seeing him get a big hobby bump unless he’s winning a championship. With his cards currently dipping — likely a combination of Milwaukee’s suspect play and the market as a whole struggling — it might be a good time to get in on one of the NBA’s surest things.

Antetokounmpo’s 2013 Select Base PSA 10 is down 24% over the last 30 days, and has an average sale of about $934 over that period. With a lower price and POP than his signature 2013 Prizm Base PSA 10, Antetokounmpo’s Select is a strong option for many collectors.

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