It doesn’t take a long list of first year players to create a hot list. Sometimes one young superstar in the making can move product and keep collectors and prospectors clicking the “buy” button online or snapping up product at their local card shop. The list of hottest 2018-19 NBA rookie cards is built around one player. Luka Doncic rookie cards have been on fire since October. The top 25 rookies sold since October have all been of Doncic
While just about every avid basketball fan knows the name of Duke star Zion Williamson, the anticipation factor isn’t usually there with players who enter the NBA from overseas. Unless you’re a hoops junkie, seeing the Dallas Mavericks highlights from those first few weeks might have been your first exposure to Doncic’s versatile, mature game. That “discovery” has led to a feeding frenzy for his cards and strong sales of NBA trading cards.
While it may be too early to determine how the 2018 draft class will shake out, some of the other rookies are worth watching–and it seems most of them are in the Western Conference.
DeAndre Ayton, the first overall pick by the Phoenix Suns, is no slouch, either. Posting strong numbers for a team going nowhere and often playing while the eastern half of the country sleeps, Ayton’s rookie cards are selling for a fraction of Doncic’s. Check out these numbers from the first three months of their rookie seasons”
- Over 9,000 Doncic rookie cards have sold on eBay for an average price of $126.52 and a staggering total of over $1.17 million.
- Over 4,100 Ayton rookie cards have sold for an average price of $50.60 and a total of just over $208,000
While Doncic had a far better game in a recent meeting between the Mavs and Suns, Ayton, at this point, would seem to be a pretty strong long-term play for collectors. So far, only two Ayton cards have broached the $2,000 mark with most selling for far less–even autographs with low serial numbers.
“They’ve both been terrific,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said after that contest. “It tells me and everyone else that it was a tremendous draft. A lot of guys are having a big impact, too. But these two are certainly the most featured of the group.”
Another rookie both coaches and collectors seem to like is Jaren Jackson. The former Michigan State standout and fourth overall pick is just 19 years old. A Contenders rookie auto variation sold for $2,500 and some low serial numbered autos have seen fairly strong prices but for the most part, his cards have yet to really take off.
Kevin Knox of the Knicks, Trae Young of the Hawks, Collin Sexton of the Cavs, Kevin Huerter of the Hawks and Wendell Carter Jr. of the Bulls are among those who’ve also done enough so far to merit looks over the long haul. A 1/1 Knox Prizm Black Refractor sold recently for $2,300.
That rookie list could grow as the next couple of years play out since not every first year player grows into a star right away, especially those who enter the NBA after only a short stay in college or, like Michael Porter Jr., are dealing with medical issues.
You can check out the 50 current most watched 2018-19 NBA rookie card listings at auction via the live list below.