Sports Cards: The Top 5 NBA Players to Invest In
  • Vinnie Rullo

Sports Cards: The Top 5 NBA Players to Invest In

The sports card hobby in the NBA has evolved throughout the years in a way that certain cards and players are more valuable than others. This is based on a number of factors like scarcity, condition, rookie card or not and many more. The key factor is knowing what players you should be investing your money in.

I've provided my own knowledge, expertise, and opinion on what particular players and cards to invest in.

1. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan, The G.O.A.T., is arguably the best player in the history of the NBA. Jordan's card prices prove that as well, and one of his most sought rookie cards is his 1986-87 Fleer. This card is worth upwards of $10,000 dollars graded in a Beckett (BGS) Graded 10. Be careful when buying this card ungraded because there is a lot of counterfeits out there.

(Photo Credit eBay auction)

I would recommend buying it graded from PSA, BGS, or SGC to avoid the possibility of buying a fake, ungraded one. Jordan's fleer graded in the 5-8 range are more affordable and worth in the range of $400-1000 dollars.

Jordan also has some of the highest priced and sought after autographed cards in the sports card industry. An example would be any of Jordan's Exquisite Basketball Auto's, which are the most rare and elite type of card, in my opinion.

(2008-09 Exquisite Patch Numbered /18 Jordan Auto sold for 8,200 dollars: Photo Credit eBay auction)

2. LeBron James

James is often regarded as the best overall player currently playing in the NBA. Surprisingly, many of his rookie cards are still very obtainable and affordable. One example would be his 2003-04 Topps Chrome Rookie, which during the 2015 NBA Finals was selling for $150 dollars.

(LeBron's Topps Chrome Rookie; Photo Credit: eBay)

James is by far my top choice to invest in because he's already regarded as one of the best to ever play in the NBA, and still has three to four prime years left in his career. If you're looking to purchase an auto rookie of LeBron I would look into buying his 2003-04 SP Authentic, as it's an on-card auto and limited to only 500 print run.

(Sold for 1,300 dollars during NBA Finals 2015: Photo Credit eBay auction)

3. Kobe Bryant

The Black Mamba is possibly entering his last season, which should give all of his cards a bump in value. I would look into buying his 1996-97 Topps Chrome Rookie, as it's very affordable and a great card for any collection.

(Kobe's Topps Chrome Rookie: Photo Credit eBay)

If you’re interested in this card, it’s worth somewhere in the $150-220 range. This was the first year Topps Chrome was made for basketball cards so it's very limited. He's a great player to invest in before the season starts because his cards could become harder to purchase as the season progresses.

4. Steph Curry

Curry has solidified himself as arguably the second best player in the NBA with his most recent championship and MVP. Within a year, his cards have nearly doubled in value. An example would be at the beginning of the 2014-15 season I almost bought Curry's 2009-10 Playoff Contenders Rookie Auto for $80 dollars, and now it's worth in the $150-250 range.

I had mentioned in the Bryant section how 1996-97 was the first year of Topps Chrome; well, 2009-10 was the last year they made Topps Chrome. Curry's Chrome rookies in 2009-10 are very limited because Topps only printed a limited amount. A good investment would be to obtain one of Curry's Chrome rookies, the base Chrome is limited to 999 print run, the refractor is limited to 500, and the gold is limited to 50.

(An example of the Curry Chrome Refractor /500 sold for 250+ on eBay : Photo Credit eBay)

5. Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis is already regarded as one of the top players in the NBA and he’s just 22 years of age. One card that is very obtainable to buy is his 2012-13 Prizm base Rookie; you can buy one in the $15-25 dollar range. Prizm cards have taken off within the last couple years, and there are many variations of colors and types of cards for each player.

(An Example of the Davis Prizm Rookie: Photo Credit eBay auction)

Prizm, who is owned by Panini, has become one of the top products in the basketball hobby industry. Their cards are very similar to Topps Chrome, except they have added more color variations and autos. Davis is a great investment because he's only going to improve as a player. Purchasing an on-card auto of Davis in Prizm is highly recommended, they usually sell in the $200-250 range.

(Example of Davis Prizm Auto; sold for 225: Photo Credit eBay)

*Info and Photos courtesy completed Ebay auctions

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