With the new season starting tonight, I wanted to jump in with some hobby-focused predictions. While I don’t often pick up individual cards that fall outside of my own personal collections (Pacers, Duncan, Grant Hill), occasionally I will pick up key rookies. Take these predictions for what they are, my take on players that might be flying under the hobby radar as the season gets going.
While I don’t personally own the top rookies for these players, I try to use pictures of cards from my own collection for these blog posts.
Kelly Oubre – Oubre is now playing for a team that lots of people watch regardless of how well they are playing (Steph Curry’s Warriors). He’s going to get plenty of minutes and has a well rounded game that could make him a star in Golden State. His Prizm rookie can be found at a reasonable price. I think these have the potential to really jump up once the season starts.
John Wall – Here’s a former #1 draft pick and all-star who hasn’t played much over the past couple years, who’s going to need to be a scoring option for this Rockets team, and probably feels like he has something to prove. Always a big if, but if he stays healthy he could jump back into hobby relevance. I’m a big fan of his 2010-11 Donruss rookie, which can be found for a very reasonable price, under $15.
Marc Gasol – Never bad to pick up rookies of a future Hall of Famer at a reasonable price, especially when they’re currently playing for a contending and high profile team like the Lakers. Folks, you can pick up a 2008-09 Topps Chrome rookie for $10. Sign me up 10 times out of 10. You could probably find a rookie refractor for less than the price of a Talen Horton-Tucker rookie. I kid, I kid.
Dennis Schroder – Starting for the Lakers alongside Lebron and AD. Would think he would get a bump in value just from wearing the uniform. Schroder has a chance to break out this season. Lost in OKC’s surprising season in 2019-20 is Schroeder’s 19 points a game on 47% shooting. And he took his 3 pt percentage up a notch, shooting a career best 38.5%. Should certainly get open looks from his new teammates. His Prizm rookie is going for around $20.
Zach Lavine – Coming off a 25 points per game season, only 25 years old, playing next to a player who’s cards are hot right now (Coby White). His Prizm rookie can be found for under $30 right now and his Select rookie can be found for much less, and is an equally attractive card.
Jrue Holiday – A theme here is guys on high-profile or contending teams, and no player made a better switch than Holiday. Sure the Pelicans are an exciting team with young talent, but the Bucks have a chance to win the whole thing, and now Holiday gets to play with the regular season MVP. This is the last rookie class with Topps, and there wasn’t a standalone Chrome product, just Chrome as a parallel.
James Wiseman – Wiseman may be an obvious choice as the top big man in the draft and #2 overall, but I would expect LaMelo to be the biggest seller right off the bat. Ball is going to have the ball in his hands, he’ll be making sportscenter top 10s with his nifty passing ability, but if we are looking at longevity and best career, I’m looking at Wiseman. He’ll be the best big on the Warriors, and it looks like they are throwing him in the starting lineup right off the bat.
Obi Toppin – If you watched this guy at Dayton then you know how electric he is. Even if he’s not an all-star, which I think he will be at some point in his career, he’s going to bring a lot of excitement and energy. I think he’ll end up being one of the top players from this draft.
Who do you think will breakout in the basketball card hobby this season? Let’s talk about it here or let me know on twitter. @hoopshobby