This summer, we’ve been podcasting a series about Basketball Card investing along the 4 G’s – Guess, Good, Great, GOAT. Four levels or categories of players to invest in when it comes to basketball cards and any attempt to “balance your portfolio.” The “Guess” level consists of players who are not yet proven or even recognized regularly by collectors or investors. The “Good” category refers to players who contribute, entertain, improve, and may even make a few all-star teams. The “Greats” include players who will be remembered in 15-20 years for their legacy and probable induction to the Hall of Fame. The “GOAT” status is for those rare few players in the debate for, yes, “greatest of all-time!”
Welcome to our first-ever “4G Picks of the Month” blog – a chance to share some suggestions of players and cards to watch out for or consider investing in. We should give the current-market disclaimer, saying that it’s the offseason, Basketball card values are down, and we don’t know exactly when it’s going back up. Hopefully as the season arrives, players show up and show out, and the playoff race takes shape.. we will see the demand and value of Basketball cards rise once again. Either way, here are some players and cards we are watching or buying just one month into the NBA offseason…
GUESSES – SMALL-CAP GROWTH
— Cameron Thomas, Brooklyn Nets – He’s a 20-year old who can score at will in big moments, as he proved last season. Though Basketball card people already know his name, they don’t know he could get major minutes in the fallout of Kyrie-gate 3.0. Comparison: Jordan Poole, Desmond Bane.
— Bones Hyland, Denver Nuggets – People already loves his name and his attitude, but Hyland will play a ton of minutes at the point with or without Jamal Murray returning to a Nuggets playoff contender. Comparison: Tyrese Maxey, Immanuel Quickley.
— Other GUESSES to remember: Kevin Porter Jr., Brandon Clarke, Tre Jones, Patrick Williams, Isaiah Jackson, Josh Hart, Jaylen Nowell, Malik Monk.
GOODS – MID-CAP GROWTH
— Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers – an All-Star and max-extension player at age 22, Garland’s stellar season has been all but forgotten by the Hobby, and so most of his rookies are available for a fraction of what people currently spend on Jonathan Kuminga. His autographs are only found on Upper Deck cards. You’re welcome.
— Anthony Edwards, Minnesota T-Wolves – Ungraded parallels and cheaper rookies might be the play for this young superstar, whose playoff-bound cast added Rudy Gobert, virtually assuring Edwards will be putting up huge numbers next May, and someday, June. Buy a beautiful raw rookie and grade it this summer.
— Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers – With or without James Harden, Maxey played like an all-star from February through May, and card investors responded. You’ll see his cards in the glass cases now at shows, but the prices on his autos, silvers, and numbered rookies are slowly falling into bargain territory. Maxey is a hard-working three-level scorer who rises to the occasion on the largest stage, and his potential is unlimited.
Other GOODS we really like: Anfernee Simons, Brandon Ingram, Pascal Siakam, Tyrese Haliburton, Keldon Johnson, and – of course – Ja Morant.
GREATS – LARGE GROWTH
— Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers – One of the best in a decade returns from a year-off to join Paul George, John Wall, and the Clippers on a deep playoff run. With 2011 or 2012 graded rookies at such a low price, Kawhi presents a fantastic “flip” or long-term investment opportunity.
— Donovan Mitchell, Utah (for now) – For a short-term flip and a longer-term gain, it’s hard to beat Donovan Mitchell right now. No matter what team he lands with – New York? Brooklyn? Cleveland? Miami? – Mitchell arrives as the leading scorer and ball-dominant guard for that deep playoff run in a new uniform. His 2017 rookies and autos are down like everyone else’s, but his upside for 2022-23 is unique to him.
Other GREATS we put in our eBay Watch list: Dwayne Wade, Shaquille O’Neal, Damian Lillard, Nikola Jokic, Dirk Nowitzki, Scottie Pippen.
GOATS – LARGE VALUE
— LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers – Entering his 20th season in the league, Lebron is now a billionaire, movie star and producer, and a voice to two generations of young people. When the Lakers reload around him, AD, and maybe some form of Russ/Kyrie/Whoever… the Lakers will contend again. This year. Meanwhile, King James will become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer in the near future, and it’s smart to buy his cards while the market is down.
— Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls – Like Lebron, the best time to buy this GOAT is during the NBA offseason. My own personal goal is to have several strong cards of Lebron, MJ, Kobe, Steph, and Giannis – and there are always buyers and sellers in the Jordan market. Jordan Fleer cards from 1987-1990 seem way too cheap to me, and his legacy and name will carry on for decades or maybe centuries, thanks to the shoe market.
— Other GOATS I’d want in my “portfolio” for the long-term: Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson