Though some traditional basketball fans may not love a Milwaukee-Phoenix NBA Finals, many sports card collectors are getting a match-up with massive hobby potential.
While Chris Paul is fighting to cap off an incredible career with an NBA title, young stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton are looking to get the most elusive accomplishment out of the way early.
Here are four cards to watch during the NBA Finals:
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 2013 Prizm Base PSA 10
Outside of winning a title, Antetokounmpo has pretty much done it all — he’s won an MVP, been Defensive Player of the Year, and is one of the game’s top young stars.
Antetokounmpo’s’s 2013 Prizm Base PSA 10 has been one of the most-targeted cards in the hobby for a while now, and winning a title with Milwaukee will almost certainly change things. After peaking around $7,300 last August, the most recent eBay sale, according to Market Movers, is all the way down around $1,800.
A championship likely can’t get this card back up to the $7,000 peak it saw in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, but it’s hard to imagine Antetokounmpo not getting a boost from a title. For those looking to buy-in, a loss to the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals could keep this Prizm trending down into more manageable levels.
Chris Paul’s 2005 Topps Chrome Base PSA 10
CP3 or Point God — nicknames don’t really matter. Paul is finally in the NBA Finals after several close-calls with Los Angeles and Houston, and an NBA title could seriously help get his hobby popularity more in line with his on-court reputation.
Paul’s 2005 Topps Chrome Base PSA 10 is a signature rookie worth watching, while the Topps Base paper product is also worth keeping an eye on. His Topps Chrome Base PSA 10 is up 99% over the last 365 days, and is trending up over the last few weeks after taking a dip.
Paul’s Topps Chrome Base PSA 10 most recently sold for about $1,500, according to Market Movers, while a value option for many could be his paper 2005 Topps Base PSA 10, which recently has been around the $600 range.
Devin Booker’s 2015 Select Courtside PSA 10
Booker’s 2015 Prizm Base PSA 10 has turned into a signature card, but his 2015 Select Courtside PSA 10 likely has more upside. Even if Phoenix doesn’t win a title this season, Booker has solidified himself as one of the NBA’s top young stars this postseason. And with the Suns still very young (Chris Paul is the big exception), it’s hard to see Phoenix not sticking around for a while.
Although Booker’s 2015 Select Courtside PSA 10 has, on average, been twice as expensive over the last 365 days as his Prizm Base PSA 10 (about $2,000 vs. $1,000), it does feature a lower print run and a much lower POP (38 vs. 1,473).
A card as liquid as Booker’s 2015 Prizm Base PSA 10 is likely never a bad pick-up for the right price, but it’s worth watching this Select for the long-term potential.
Deandre Ayton’s 2018 Select Concourse PSA 10
Centers and other big men often struggle to really gain popularity in the hobby, but Ayton is on the right track. He’s not quite Luka Doncic or Trae Young, but he’s shown this postseason that Phoenix didn’t blunder by taking him No. 1 overall in 2018.
Similar to Booker above, grabbing a Prizm Base PSA 10 rookie for the right price is almost always a good idea because of its liquidity. Ayton’s 2018 Select Concourse PSA 10 likely has more upside, though.
Both cards have had recent sales between $120 and $130, but the thing to like about Ayton’s Select is the print run and POP. A hobby-only product in 2018, Select has a lower print run than Prizm, and the PSA 10 POP of just 128 is much more attractive for collectors than Prizm’s 3,883.
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