NBA Preseason Expectations Keep Fueling Price Movements

With the Damian Lillard trade fiasco finally reaching a conclusion, we’ve now seen a blockbuster trade that’s shaken up the race for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. This also puts teams one step closer to setting their 15-man rosters, meaning the NBA market is settling into a position that gives collectors better indicators to predict plays for the upcoming season. Today we’re going to look at the NBA market as a whole over the last few weeks, and discuss where purchases could be made.

Let’s begin by breaking down cards based on release year to get a better idea of purchasing power for those looking to stock up on basketball cards as the regular season approaches. Based on the graphic shown below, we see a clear distinction between more recently released prints in comparison to established players. The demographics between 2000-09 as well as 2010-17 have seen overall decreases between -4% and -6% over the last 60 days, whereas 2018-20 has seen a 4% pricing change. This could mean flippers may have more opportunities to find undervalued cards among veterans in the league.

Source: Market Movers

It also could lend credence to the idea of listing some of your younger players, as certain cards released between 2018-2020 have seen profit spikes even without performance driving hype-based spikes. Below you’ll see statistics showcasing the biggest percentage rises across the board for basketball cards to give you an indication of which players may be worth listing for sale.

Cards below are rookie cards in PSA 10 that have sold multiple times over the last 60 days and cost over $15.

Biggest Price Percentage Growers (Last 60 days): 

1. Sekou Doumbouya: 2019 Donruss Base #214 PSA 10 – 562%

2. Trae Young: 2018 Status Rookies 1 #142 PSA 10 – 541%

3, Jarret Culver: 2019 Donruss Net Marvels #15 PSA 10 – 437%

4. Michael Porter Jr: 2018 Select Concourse #37 PSA 10 – 263%

5. Victor Oladipo 2013 Prizm Base PSA 10 – 254%

There are a couple important things to discuss from this growers list. First, four of the five cards listed come from the 2018-2020 range that we previously discussed. Second, most of these cards are low-value budget options, meaning these percentages can be slightly misleading.

It also means these cards hold more sell-now value for those that have invested in bulk. Nonetheless, those holding these options should consider current values in comparison to initial investment to form decisions on what to do moving forward.

Biggest Price Percentage Decliners (Last 60 Days)

1. Jalen Williams 2022 Revolution Base #124 PSA 10 – 77%

2. Steve Stipanovich 1986 Fleer Base #106 PSA 10 – 74%

3. Chet Holmgren 2022 Prizm Luck of the Lottery – Fast Break #13 PSA 10 – 72%

4. Immanuel Quickly 2020 Mosaic NBA Debut – Fast Break Purple /50 # 277 PSA 10 – 70%

5. Victor Wembanyama 2023 Topps Now Draft Base #D-1 PSA 10 – 69%

Each and every card featured on the list above is at more than a healthy decrease in pricing, and these discounted rates could certainly turn into profits for those that want to invest. We would like to note that there are more desirable cards with higher upside and characteristics that could make more sense from a card-flipping perspective, which we’ll dive into now.

Potential Money Makers

1. Paolo Banchero 2022 Contenders Rookie Ticket Auto #56 PSA 10

Kicking off this list is last year’s Rookie of the Year, Paolo Banchero, and his 2022 Rookie Ticket Auto. In PSA 10, this card has fallen 35% over the last 60 days. The Orlando Magic, while historically not a winning franchise, have added several young pieces to help compete against the top teams in the league. Expect Banchero to have a strong sophomore campaign that lends itself to plenty of sell markers. Keep an eye on the in-season tournament as a time to list this option as well.

2. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 2018 Prizm Silver #184 PSA 10

While Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s Prizm Silver isn’t trending down in terms of pricing, it’s current valuation is still at a point where purchasing could allow investors to make serious profits as the season unfolds. The Thunder star finished 4th in the league in scoring per game last year on an evolving young roster, and we believe he will establish himself as a premier combo guard this season. This card can be picked up for less than $450, a number that could jump above the $500 mark several times over the next few months.

3. Stephen Curry 2009 Bowman ‘48 Base #106 PSA 10

Our final selection is Steph Curry’s 2009 Bowman ‘48 Base. In PSA 10, this card is down 43% over the last 60 days, for a $2,140 pricing falloff. While this option is on the more expensive side, it’s a relatively-liquid card trading five times over this time period. It also features a pop count of just 167, meaning you can add a bit of exclusivity to your portfolio. For a card that sold for over $5,000 in June, this is a great option for those willing to shell out the capital. 

With the Sports Card Investor app, you can profit from the hobby you love by keeping up with trending cards, tracking real-time prices with Market Movers and buying items on eBay. 

Download the industry-leading app here for Apple or Android. Note to readers: If you purchase something through one of our affiliates, we may earn a commission.

Paul Hickey is a regular contributor to Sports Card Investor, the creator of the Sports Card Investment Report at, and the host of the Sports Card Strategy Show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube. He can be found on Instagram at @sportscardstrategy and on Twitter @nooffseasoncard.

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