It took five years and a third team but one of the NBA’s smallest players is now unquestionably an international star. It’s taken some tragedy, too, for the world to get to know him but Isaiah Thomas is getting some love–and his rookie cards are too.
No, Not That Isaiah Thomas
A new generation of NBA fans has no memory of the Hall of Fame playing career of his namesake, a guard for Detroit’s “Bad Boys” under Chuck Daly in the 1980s and 90s. The “new” Isaiah Thomas is from the state of Washington, a player who spent three college years with the Huskies before becoming the last player drafted in 2011.
His career began in Sacramento, took a detour to Phoenix and then landed in Boston where he’s established career highs in points and assists.
A great 2016-17 season took a horrible turn on the day before the start of the playoffs when Thomas’ younger sister Chyna was killed in a one-vehicle accident. He summoned the courage to keep playing at a high level as the Celts eliminated the Chicago Bulls. Then in the first game of their second round series with Washington, he had a tooth knocked out in an on-court collision. After four hours of dental surgery Monday and another procedure Tuesday, he returned to drop 53 points in a victorious Game 2 on what would have been Chyna’s 23rd birthday.
Isaiah Thomas Rookie Cards
Thomas’ rookie season coincided with the NBA work stoppage that put a crimp in the basketball card market during the 2011-12 season. Players from that draft class would not have “official” rookie cards until the 2012-13 but there are a few Thomas autographed redemption cards from Panini branded with that 2011-12 season including Limited, Past and Present and Gold Standard. Most can be acquired for well under $100.
When 2012-13 arrived, so did an array of his cards. Today, his most popular rookies include the autographed relic cards from National Treasures and Immaculate, two of the high-end brands produced by the NBA’s trading card partner. Prices for the on-card autographs with jersey swatches vary quite a bit but at least as of now, most have stayed fairly affordable. Many Thomas rookie cards with sticker autographs can still be had for under $50.
Overall, the average price for a Thomas rookie autograph is under $100.
You can get a look at the current ‘most watched’ Isaiah Thomas rookie cards on eBay via the list below.
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