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Basketball Card Investing Strategy

Basketball Card Investing Strategy: 2nd Year NBA Players Coming Off a Good Rookie Season

We’re looking at more sports card investment strategies today, primarily focusing on NBA options. Specifically, we’ll be delving into second-year players, and how they can be used for quick flips or great long-term investments.

Must Read: Ideal Sports Card Investing Portfolio

As methods go, this is one of the riskier ones overall, but there is potential for massive profits if you choose wisely.

Here’s everything you need to know about investing in second-year NBA players, including previous and current examples, and what to expect from a volatile market.


2nd Year NBA Player Investments: Methodology

As investment strategies go, this is fairly simple. Look at second year NBA players who have just come off a good rookie season, with an emphasis on heavy hitters. They’re going to cost a significant amount compared to most other RC releases, but there should be further profit to be had if they can keep it up into the next season and beyond.

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Think Rookie of the Year winners, or young stars that have carried their franchise against all odds. We’ll list a number of examples below.


2nd Year NBA Player Investments: Examples

Typically, there’s a couple of decent options each season, but it will depend on the current crop of rookies, and their fortunes on the court. Some players get ‘found out’ after a year or so, as others become accustomed to their style of play. Others reach their natural ceiling and are still found wanting against the very best in the world.

“As such, a generational talent should be strongly preferred, although there won’t be players of that calibre available every year. At least there will be cheaper options, which could still rise accordingly.”

One potential stumbling block for the best current RCs is the high price of entry, as you’ll see from the examples we’ve listed below. However, these cards tend to have the biggest chance of multiplying in value, so it’s worth considering depending on your appetite for risk.


Previous Examples of 2nd Year Investments

Baseketball Cards 2nd Year Investments

The 2018 Luka Doncic Panini Opulence Holo Gold RC /10 is already a legend in the hobby and is a great example of investing in 2nd year NBA players before the season starts. Our staff recalls when eBay had a good deal of Luka Panini Opulence redemptions for auction at ridiculously low prices compared to present value prior to Luka’s second season.

Luka Doncic and Ja Morant are two great examples of RCs which have come good if you decided to invest in their second year.

Take Doncic’s Panini Opulence, which was previously going for roughly $2,000, depending on the parallel. Now Luka Panini Opulence rookie cards (/10, /25) are now worth at minimum 5 or 6 times that amount which is a HUGE profit considering the short time it took to shoot up in price.

Examples of 2018 2nd year players that provided a HUGE ROI:

  • 2018 Luka Doncic Panini Opulence RPA Gold /10 #145 (buy on eBay)
  • 2018 Luka Doncic Panini Contenders RC #122 (buy on eBay)
  • 2018 Luka Doncic Panini Prizm RC #280 (buy on eBay)
  • 2019 Ja Morant Panini Prizm RC #249 (buy on eBay)
  • 2019 Ja Morant Panini Contenders RC #118 (buy on eBay)

Most collectors and investors would love to rewind time to grab a copy of the Opulence, which is never going to happen. The next best thing is to look at second-year stars in 2020, as the same rules should apply in a year or so.


Current Examples of 2nd Year Investments 

In terms of current NBA players, Zion Williamson and Coby White are two great options. However, Zion has a chequered injury history, and one wrong move could see prices tumbling. It’s unlikely, but it’s one of the risks you’ll have to be willing to take if you’re hoping to see the largest profit possible.

2nd year basketball card investing

Will Zion be a great 2nd-year investment? If he stays healthy his rookie card prices could very well double… but if he misses considerable time due to injuries… look out belooooow!!!

Here’s a rundown of some great options that have potential;

  • 2019 Zion Williamson Panini Donruss Signature Press Proof Gold Laser #201 (buy on eBay)
  • 2019 Zion Williamson National Treasures Logoman Rookie Card Autographs #LA-ZW (buy on eBay)
  • 2019 Zion Williamson Panini Contenders Gold Vinyl Auto Rookie #108 (buy on eBay)
  • 2019 Coby White Panini Prizm RC #253 (buy on eBay)
  • 2019 Coby White Panini Donruss Optic RC #180 (buy on eBay)
  • 2019 Coby White Panini Select RC #48 (buy on eBay)

We’ll check back in 12 months or so to provide an update on prices, but Zion does look to be the pick of the duo and is starting to thrive in a league debut without restrictions.


2nd Year NBA Player Investments: Overall 

It’ll depend on your appetite for risk, but it should all work out as the player has already begun to show signs of greatness, personality, and other factors will come into play, while it helps if they play for a team franchise that actually has a chance of winning something in the first place.

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Of course, it could all go wrong, but the same is true for any sports card investment. For a safer bet, we’d look to tried and tested NBA legends and vets, such as the likes of Michael Jordan or LeBron James

Most Rookies of the Year winners shoot up in value throughout their first season and go up further still the year later if they can keep up the level of their performances.

It’s an expensive endeavor to invest in their RCs given the typical asking price, but it could end up being a fraction of the overall value in a few years or more.

At worst, you should still be able to claw back most of your original investment, while you’ll have a better idea of the market for high-ticket items.