We’re already two weeks into the NBA season! Yes, it seems like it’s been years since Jaylen Brown dropped 46 on the Knicks in that double-overtime loss in the Garden. And the Basketball Card market is already “so over” the new season hype machine, with prices settling or dropping already as we begin November. Well, not all of the prices will drop. In fact, some players are breaking the curve, busting out, and making a claim to increased roles and – who knows – maybe a run at the 2022 NBA All-Star Team! Here are this week’s SHOOTING STARS…
HARRISON BARNES, SACRAMENTO KINGS. From backing up Marvin Bagley to unstoppable perimeter force. Barnes’ start to this season reminds a lot of us of his Tarheel potential as a lights-out shooter and long-armed wing evoking memories of Rashard Lewis. He’s averaging 23.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, and incredible percentages for a team that desperately needs it’s young stable of guards to start producing. From game-winning shots to veteran leadership, who saw this coming right now from Barnes? He’s one of those 2012 Prizm Basketball card rookies with a very low-pop supply – investing in Barnes could be a fantastic short-term flip – that is, unless he’s gonna produce like this for the Kings all season?
TYLER HERRO, MIAMI HEAT. Well, I’m done calling him a “bench player.” Herro looks like a 6th man of the year finalist already, and his 22points, 4.5 assists, 6.7 rebounds set him up for long-term NBA stardom no matter what role he plays on a team. Though it seems we’ve been talking Tyler forever, he’s just 21 years old. Think about that. With Miami out to a fiery-hot start and Jimmy Butler playing out of his mind (again), Mr. Herro is right there with him. The sports card investor in me says that now is the time to get in on some PSA 10 Tyler Herro action of any kind.
OG ANUNOBY, TORONTO RAPTORS. Though his first few games were underwhelming, a career-high night vaulted OG’s average to 20.2 points per game to go with 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals. With VanVleet, Trent, and Barnes, Toronto has yet another dead-eye shooter in Anunoby, who is filling up some the scoring needed while the team waits for Pascal Siakam to return. Most people who follow the Raptors believe that the future of this team belongs to the 23-year old Anunoby, and it’s hard to argue with them. 2017-18 rookies of OG can be found at a most affordable price, especially Optic Holos.
MILES BRIDGES, CHARLOTTE HORNETS. Dude. What can I say. In eight games, he’s at 23.1 points, 3.4 assists, 7.9 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and a thousand highlight plays. He’s the hottest player on this list, and so are his cards. Miles is really helped by the playmaking passes of LaMelo Ball, but Bridges does so much more than score. Of anyone on this list, I believe that Bridges’ early-season performances are part of a longer-term excellence that will be fun to watch.
COLE ANTHONY, ORLANDO MAGIC. Not Jalen Suggs. Not Markelle Fultz. Cole Anthony. Though his team is struggling and much of his minutes have come off the bench, Anthony is earning his keep. 19.4 points, 5.6 assists, 7.6 rebounds in eight games are making the whole league take notice. He’s perhaps the cheapest Basketball card option on this list, and also the one most at risk of losing his spot. Orlando didn’t draft Jalen Suggs to watch Cole Anthony play, but maybe Suggs should be taking notes right now. Cole’s attitude, energy, and scoring confidence are exactly what the Magic need from Suggs – and everyone else on their roster – if they are to improve in the win column.
OTHER SURPRISE RISERS: Desmond Bane, Memphis; Scottie Barnes, Toronto; Spencer Dinwiddie, Washington, Brandon Ingram, New Orleans; Cam Reddish, Atlanta; RJ Barrett, New York.