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Zion Williamson’s Market Dips Despite Dominating Start

Zion Williamson’s Market Dips Despite Dominating Start

Ben Burrows

Considered by many to be one of the most important athletes in the sports card hobby, Zion Williamson continues to see his prices decline despite a fantastic start to the season for the Pelicans.

From Williamson to other stars like Ja Morant and Luka Doncic, here’s a deep dive into the latest basketball trends with this week’s NBA Market Movers update.

Cards listed below are PSA 10s with a minimum average of $30 and 10 sales over the last 30 days.

PRICE GROWTH PERCENTAGE RISERS

1. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 2018 Chronicles Phoenix PSA 10 📈 240%

2. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 2018 Select Premier Level PSA 10 📈 224%

3. Tim Hardaway 1990 Fleer Base PSA 10 📈 211%

4. De’Aaron Fox 2017 Optic Red & Yellow PSA 10 📈 205%

5. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 2018 Select Concourse PSA 10 📈 119%

FOX SURGES: While Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has gotten much of the early-season love in the hobby, De’Aaron Fox has also turned an explosive start on the court into a massive resurgence in the sports card market. Fox’s PSA 10s tracked by Market Movers are up 13% collectively over the last 30 days, and the bump has largely been driven by increases across his lineup of key rookies from Prizm, Optic, Select and Donruss.

The early rise is encouraging for one of the best players from an extremely strong 2017 NBA Draft class, but how long that growth can be maintained is the most important question. Much like Gilgeous-Alexander and the Thunder, collectors and investors may have serious concerns about season-long success for Fox and the Kings — Sacramento is off to a good start, but what’s the realistic ceiling for that team in 2022? The Kings may be in the playoff race, but no one is mistaking this team as a title contender.

Source: Market Movers
PRICE GROWTH PERCENTAGE DECLINERS

1. Zion Williamson 2019 Select Premier Level PSA 10 📉 61%

2. Jordan Poole 2019 Prizm Red White Blue PSA 10 📉 60%

3. Brandon Ingram 2016 Prizm Mosaic Base PSA 10 📉 59%

4. Anthony Edwards 2020 Mosaic Pink Camo PSA 10 📉 58%

5. Trae Young 2018 Revolution Base PSA 10 📉 56%

WILLIAMSON’S MARKET NOSEDIVES: Zion Williamson is averaging 23-7-4, the Pelicans are currently 13-8 for third place in the West, and his cards are still tanking. Williamson’s PSA 10s tracked by Market Movers are down 23% collectively over the last month, and his key rookies across major sets like Prizm, Optic, Select and Donruss are all down between 20% and 40% with significant sales volume.

That sales volume — more than one per day at the lowest — across those four signature cards tell us that the market is still very interested in Williamson, but the dollar amount just isn’t right. The basketball market as a whole has declined in a big way in recent months, but the declines on Williamson’s PSA 10s have outpaced both the SCI 500 Market Pulse Index (-4%) and the Basketball 2018-2020 Market Pulse Index (-13%) over the last 30 days.

The current dip continues a troubling trend for Williamson collectors that shows Ja Morant as the new favorite from that dynamic 2019 NBA Draft class. Morant’s PSA 10 rookies are down, too, but just 10% compared to Williamson’s 24%. Morant’s key Prizm, Optic, Select and Donruss rookies are all outpacing Williamson’s prices as well, and some have even maintained positive price growth despite a down market.

The market decided a while ago that Morant was the new top player from that draft class, but it’s certainly not encouraging for Williamson holders to see the gap widening.

Source: Market Movers
DOLLAR GROWTH RISERS

1. Kobe Bryant 1996 Topps Finest Bronze PSA 10 📈 $324

2. LeBron James 2003 Upper Deck MVP PSA 10 📈 $133

3. Luka Doncic 2018 Prizm Base PSA 10 📈 $132

4. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 2018 Prizm Silver PSA 10 📈 $115

5. Luka Doncic 2018 Revolution Base PSA 10 📈 $110

DONCIC GETS SMALL BUMP: Luka Doncic remains one of the sports card hobby’s favorite buys, and he’s managed to remain positive in a mostly-down market thanks in large to an absurd 34-9-9 stat line through 19 games. His PSA 10s tracked by Market Movers are up 1% collectively over the last 30 days, and that percentage might be a little higher if not for his signature 2018 Prizm Silver PSA 10 taking a big hit — likely due to its $5,000-plus price point coming down some.

The challenge for Doncic — and his collectors and investors — from here is how well his market can sustain while the rest of basketball dips, and how much ceiling there is to realistically go up. Doncic is one of several young players with MVP and title prices sort of cooked into their market, so the next few months could be tough to see much more positive price growth.

Source: Market Movers
DOLLAR GROWTH DECLINERS

1. Luka Doncic 2018 Prizm Silver PSA 10 📉 $475

2. Michael Jordan 1989 Fleer Base PSA 10 📉 $405

3. Ja Morant 2019 Prizm Silver PSA 10 📉 $381

4. LeBron James 2003 Topps Base PSA 10 📉 $355

5. Zion Williamson 2019 Prizm Silver PSA 10 📉 $285

HIGH-DOLLAR DIP: Market dips for Zion Williamson and LeBron James have been covered in this space recently, but a look at the other biggest decliners seems to be all over the place. The market is down as a whole, but Ja Morant has largely been trending better than most and Luka Doncic has a variety of cards trending up right now. So what gives?

As is typical with the dollar growth decliners section, we see a lot of higher-dollar cards with sizable dips largely due to a much higher starting price point than most other cards. Looking at the chart below, we can see that these dips, despite large dollar amounts, aren’t exactly alarming in terms of percentage at a glance.

The current market has made many of these cards more volatile, and starting price points between $1,000 and $2,000 can land these types of cards in this space without necessarily causing an alarm.

Source: Market Movers
SALES VOLUME LEADERS

1. Zion Williamson 2019 Prizm Base PSA 10 📈 211 sales

2. Luka Doncic 2018 Prizm Base PSA 10 📈 193 sales

3. Ja Morant 2019 Prizm Base PSA 10 📈 181 sales

4. Luka Doncic 2018 Donruss Base PSA 10 📈 124 sales

5. Zion Williamson 2019 Optic Base PSA 10 📈 122 sales

POPULAR SEALED WAX (HOBBY BOXES WITH MIN. 10 SALES OVER LAST 30 DAYS)

1. 2021 One and One Basketball 📈 11%

2. 2022 Chronicles Draft Picks Basketball 📉 29%

3. 2021 Select Basketball 📉 4%

4. 2022 Prizm WNBA Basketball 📈 3%

5. 2021 Inception OTE Overtime Elite Basketball 📈 81%

Source: Market Movers
MARKET PULSE INDEXES OVER LAST 30 DAYS

Basketball 2018-2020: 📉 13%

Basketball 2010-2017: 📉 10%

Basketball 2000-2009: 📉 12%

Source: Market Movers

Basketball 1990-1999: 📉 2%

Basketball 1980-1989: 📉 2%

Basketball 1979 & Older: 📉 7%

Source: Market Movers

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