Well, everyone in the Basketball card world knows about Miles Bridges by now. Card prices and “asks” online have soared for the last two weeks as Bridges has been on fire since game one. At this pace, Miles will make his first All-Star team this year and is doing anything and everything the Hornets need him to do. His production isn’t always tied to Lamelo Ball’s passing or leadership. Bridges is in his 4th year in the league and has become a man all his own. HIs 2018 Prizm Silver Rookies are soaring so high that it’s actually hard to believe it – his silvers are reaching or surpassing the values of Prizm Silvers for rookie classmates DeAndre Ayton, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Collin Sexton – basically everyone except Luka and Trae.
And to think… Just two weeks ago, you could find those silver prizes for far less than $100 each – graded! Personally, I found two RAW silver rookies of Bridges at a card shop close to home for FIFTEEN bucks each. Less than three weeks ago, Miles Bridges was an undervalued prospect. Now, he’s the guy everyone was looking for at Saturday’s card show.
For those of us who follow the NBA and Basketball card markets, we LOVE seeing Bridges play like this, and his card values jump like this.
Which brings me to this next, obvious question about the 2021-22 NBA season…
WHO is next? Will we have another breakout player/investment anytime soon? It’s fun to speculate, and such a thrill when your guy actually follows through. Will anyone take a Miles Bridges “jump” in the next month or two in the NBA? That’s the question I’m asking every time I watch a game, check a box score, or stand in front of a guy’s case of graded rookies.
Although I can’t make any guarantees, it’s fun to read the first month performances around the league and take some shots. Here are some candidates, players who could be stealing headlines and flying off of eBay in the coming weeks and months…
COLE ANTHONY, ORLANDO MAGIC – Shockingly, the second year combo guard is one of the hottest shooters in the league, averaging 20ppg, 7rebs, 5ast, and stellar percentages. His 2019-20 Prizm rookies started to fly over the last few days, in response to his 33-point outburst in a crazy win over Utah Jazz. When the Magic drafted Jalen Suggs, everyone just figured Suggs would take the reins and all the playmaking guard minutes from vets like Anthony, Fultz, and Hampton. Cole Anthony has other plans, becoming a “do-everything” scoring guard who looks like an emerging superstar at age 21. It’s too early to compare him to Donovan Mitchell, but it might not be too late to buy his Prizm Silvers and autos before your local dealers or shows know what’s going on here.
JAREN JACKON JR, MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES – Miles Bridges is a 2018 rookie from Michigan State grad on a playoff-bound team with a young superstar point guard who feeds him the ball as a deadly outside shooter. Well, Jaren Jackson is all of those same things. He’s started slowly, but his last few games have shown the super potential that made him a top-5 pick. Unlike Bridges or Anthony, JJJ’s card values are still very much beaten down while investors have written him off. That’s a big mistake, as Jaren’s still got the potential, opportunity, and support to be the best player on this list, a multi-year all-star on a future championship contender and he just turned 22 a few weeks ago.
JORDAN POOLE, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS – We already know about Poole! But do people realize that he’s more than just a fill-in for Klay Thompson? Did they realize he’d average 18+ and that the “aging” Warriors would be 8-1 at this point? I think Poole continues to start whenever Klay returns and he represents the future for the Warriors here at age 22. His cards might take a hit when Klay returns, but that might be the only during-the-season buying dip you’re ever going to see. This kid has a tremendous career in front of him.
DARIUS GARLAND, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS.- The Cavs are the surprise “feel good” story of the NBA so far this season, sitting here at 7-4. We could talk all day about the rise of Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, or Ricky Rubio. But Garland has been the constant, upping his FG% to 47 and his 3’s to 44 while staying within the offense and becoming one of the NBA’s best true passing point guards. When the Cavs need someone to take over in the 4th quarter, Garland has been the go-to, taking surprise wins over Toronto and New York this weekend. We are talking about another 21 year old young man who’s cards remain one of the best bargain rookie buys in the NBA.
JALEN BRUNSON, DALLAS MAVERICKS – another 2018 rookie seizing every opportunity his playoff-bound franchise is giving him. With Porzingis, Hardaway, and a cast of underachievers, Brunson and his 15ppg start has been a breath of fresh air. That’s nothing compared to what he’s done the last three games. Brunson has shown signs of being able to be a starting point guard who happens to be on Luka’s team and is the Mavs’ only other initiator – he will get a lot of minutes and production moving forward. A Mavericks playoff run with Brunson as a key member of the supporting cast could rapidly increase his value and recognition in the card market.
RJ BARRETT, NEW YORK KNICKS – In his third season, RJ looks capable of averaging 20+ and seizing at least a co-leading role under the bright lights of NYC. His card values aren’t following suit just yet. Maybe it’s because of inconsistency or never having the big name like Zion, Trae, or Ja. Despite what you may have read elsewhere, RJ isn’t “leading” this team anywhere – that’s Julius Randle and his 22 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists per night. But Randle has the shooting touch and the minutes to increase his performance (currently 18ppg) gradually over the course of the season for New York. If Randle or Fournier miss any time at all, we may see more 35-point outbursts from RJ like he had the other night. Feel free to grab an RJ Net Marvels or Silver Prizm raw for less than $75 and grade them while you still can.
Others who are warming up and worth some consideration: Tyrese Maxey (PHI), Dejounte Murray (SAS), Grayson Allen (MIL), Desmond Bane (MEM), Anfernee Simons (POR), DeAndre Hunter (ATL), Montrezl Harrell (WAS), Kevin Porter Jr (HOU).
Others who are playing outstanding but on “crowded” rosters of talent playing well: OG Anunoby (TOR), Tyler Herro (MIA), Malcolm Brogdon (IND), Mikal Bridges (PHO).