If you’ve listened to any of our podcasts you’ll know that Shani & I favor the NBA for many of our hobby tips/tricks/data discussions. We both have a decent amount of basketball experience and have learned many of the nuances of NBA card collecting. So…. We wanted to take our insight to the next level this season and give you a deeper level of information as we approach the season.
As with most sports it usually begins and ends with the rookie class. If the rookie class is solid then you can expect a constant increase in wax prices and a general momentum throughout the season. If the class is weaker, interest will shift to 2nd – 3rd year players and overall excitement will be a bit lower. This is the nature of our hobby and will likely never change.
But that’s okay! Either way we got you covered. We have LOADS of data and insights to help provide you the upper hand in your collecting. Starting with….. you guessed it….. the rookies!
If you are a podcast lover or if you want to listen to this report with some deeper thoughts and “insight”, check out our NBA Tip-Off Episode RIGHT HERE. But if you like to visualize statistics and see our prognostications in writing, this article is for you.
We are going to provide you our expectations for the 2018/19 NBA Rookie Class both with overall talent and silver prices. This year will require a bit more strategy than past years because I believe it’s one of the deepest draft classes in the past 15 years. In fact, I’ve gone on record to say I think this class goes down as the ‘best draft class this decade!’
What makes this draft so special is that it’s full of a group of 10-20 players who have All-Star potential and nearly half of them are playing in top markets. In addition, there are 2-5 players who have the talent / pedigree to command TOP dollar… so excitement is running high on our end! 😉
Before we dig into this class, be sure to check out our 2017/18 Panini Prizm Rookie Pricing Ladder for more insight into how last year’s pricing has worked out. Visualizing the pricing of prizm’s over the last year is very indicative of the ebbs + flows of the hobby/season. Buying early to “invest” is a very scary proposition… you’ll have to avoid landmines to NOT lose substantial $$. We’ll do our best to give our advice but absolutely dig into the past Prizm ladders.
Our breakdown of the 2018/19 NBA Rookie Class:
These are the guys we see as elite and have Silver prices opening north of $200. In 2017 there was 3 of these guys (Tatum, Mitchell, Kuzma).
If we wasn’t in Sacramento he’d easily contend for Top 2 or 3. We’ll know pretty quickly if he is going to adjust quick enough this season…but easy to see a 15/10/3 guy.
These are the guys we see as firmly above $100 but not sniffing $200 at release. The top guys might have a shot at Tier 1 by the end of the season, but will need to sustain months of good performances.
Bamba will a very unique case to watch. He’s not an elite scorer (yet)…so his value will be limited…but his presence alters the game. There will likely be some stretches where Bamba is carrying a lot of buzz. This will give you plenty of time to invest and flip.
Another situation where scoring where be the issue. Sexton is a game changer with his athleticism and instincts. But, he is used to getting points at the rim….which won’t be as easy in the League. I think he’ll find his way and emerge as the top 2 or 3 guard in the draft, but it will come at cost….lots of volatility with his prices.
This will be fun to watch. If MPj gets on the court in the early weeks of the season, then he will likely see a nice bump in his prices. If there are delays w/injuries then you’ll need to be very careful. Massive talent with potential to move into Top 5.
Sleeper Tier 2 Picks
These are guys that we believe can be $100+ but need a solid first month.
There are going to be some great opportunities to invest in high-upside players with this years class. Guys drafted deep in 1st rd and early 2nd rd can make waves this season. Keep an eye on our ladders and see how guys move throughout the season.