Leaf Trading Cards has officially announced what collectors had observed; an exclusive multi- year trading card autograph and memorabilia autograph deal with Portland Trailblazers rookie standout, Damian Lillard. According to Leaf, the recently signed contract ranks among one of the richest rookie exclusive memorabilia contracts in the history of the NBA.
Lillard is the early favorite for NBA Rookie of the Year. Drafted sixth overall out of Weber State, he’s averaging over 18 points and six assists per game. Thursday night, he played 40 minutes and scored 29 in the Blazers' 98-90 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
Leaf is prolific, issuing a number of sets from a variety of sports on a regular basis, but has no official license with any major pro sports league, meaning Lillard's Leaf cards won't be 'official' rookie cards as far as the NBA is concerned. NBA and Blazers' logos aren't visible on any of his cards. Still, adding one of the league's most dynamic young talents is a coup for Leaf.
"In choosing our first exclusive basketball partnership, there was no question that Damian Lillard was the right guy,” said Brian Gray, CEO of Leaf. “From day one, he showed a command of the court and exuberance for the game. This makes Damian the perfect ambassador to represent the excitement that LEAF brings to the trading card market.
2012 Leaf Signature Series and Ultimate Basketball autographed Lillard rookie cards have been selling well on eBay with lower print run signed inserts bringing several hundred dollars each.
Leaf says it will continue to feature the 6’3 guard in its upcoming basketball and multi-sport products. Late Thursday night, there were more than 60 Leaf Lillard autographed cards available on eBay. See them here.