Happy Thursday, Loupe fam! For the last handful of weeks, I’ve been writing about players whose cards you should be collecting across different sports, and I want to keep that trend going. With the NBA Playoffs tipping off next week, what better time to start a weekly basketball series?
Over the next five weeks, I’ll be looking at five NBA players at each position whose stock I believe will be on the rise. Card values fluctuate around storylines every single year in the NBA Playoffs, and the new Play-In Tournament will give an extra four teams the chance to shine in postseason play. Who will be this year’s Tyler Herro? Let’s take a look, starting with point guards.
Sacramento Kings PG De’Aaron Fox
“But Jake, I thought this was players you’re collecting during the Playoffs? The Kings suck!” While most players I write about in this series will be participating in postseason play, monitoring values of players who won’t be in the spotlight is just as important.
De’Aaron Fox is the perfect case of a guy whose value should be skyrocketing, but over the next few weeks might fade while his season is over. Fox has had the best season of his young career in 2021, seeing a significant increase in scoring and offensive efficiency. Eventually Fox will be a staple in the backcourt of a Playoff team, but until then the 2021 NBA Playoffs will be a perfect time to snipe some lower prices on his cards.
New York Knicks PG Derrick Rose
People love storylines in the NBA Playoffs, and boy do I have one for you. Derrick Rose is healthy and playing meaningful minutes on a Knicks team that’s going to the Playoffs!? Please find me a better story in the NBA right now because I’d love to see one.
All eyes will be on the Knicks this postseason, which means all eyes will be on Rose. The franchise and the individual are both on their redemption arc, with the biggest market in the country as a backdrop. This has “Derrick Rose drops 40 points in a Game 7” written all over it.
Golden State Warriors PG Steph Curry
So we’re pretty much all just waiting for Steph to lead the Warriors on a deep postseason run right? The Play-In Tournament seems like it was built specifically for a situation like this. I’m not saying Curry will singlehandedly lead the Warriors to the Finals, but we’ve seen him take over in the Playoffs before and I expect to see more of the same.
Curry is obviously an all-time-great so his card value is already very high, but the postseason is where superstars elevate their value. Imagine if Curry takes the Lakers to their limit in the Play-In Tournament or even somehow knocks them off? Even if it seems like he’s already done it all, Steph has plenty more to accomplish.
Atlanta Hawks PG Trae Young
Since when are the Hawks this good? Trae Young is obviously one of the most electrifying offensive players in the league, but did anybody expect that to translate to a top 5 team in the Eastern Conference? I’m still trying to comprehend that it’s very possible a Playoff series goes through Atlanta.
Either way, Young has the opportunity to elevate his value to new heights. His regular season numbers have been incredible since he entered the league, but he’s one postseason away from cementing himself as a true superstar. There are still multiple possibilities for Atlanta’s first-round opponent, but Young will likely be the best PG on the floor regardless of who they play.
Phoenix Suns PG Chris Paul
It’s actually ridiculous how valuable Chris Paul is to a team even this late in his career. It’s also ridiculous how little recognition he gets for it as one of the true superstars in the NBA. There are plenty of players whose rookie cards go for significantly more than CP3, and they’ll be lucky to accomplish half of what he has in the league.
While I don’t THINK the Suns have the firepower to win it all, doesn’t this feel like the best chance a Chris Paul-led team has had in a while? A few classic 20-10 games for Paul and a big shot or 2 might just solidify the future Hall Of Famer’s legacy even further.