They didn’t create much of a buzz when they arrived back in 2009-10. A check of Steph Curry rookie cards on eBay any given day makes that seem like ancient history.
His outside shot and his basketball cards are now legendary but that was not always the case. As the son of Del Curry, one of the NBA’s greatest outside shooters, Curry’s ability to shoot was expected but many, in college and the NBA, were not sure he could do a lot more.
In 2013, he set the NBA record with 272 three-pointers in a single season. In 2015-16, he smashed that mark by early March. It’s safe to say he’s now the NBA’s biggest star. His game and likeability have made him one of the NBA’s most popular players and Steph Curry basketball cards are among the hottest commodities in the hobby.
College and the Draft
The big schools didn’t want Curry coming out of high school so he went to Davidson College. During his three seasons there, he hit 473 threes and made those big power schools look foolish. After his sophomore season the NBA looked like a possibility for Curry but there were questions about his size and his passing ability. The idea for some was that he was a shooting guard in a point guard’s body. Curry went from 2.9 assists per game to 5.6 for his junior season, proving he was a point guard, while averaging 28.6 points a game despite constant double and triple-teams. He opted for the NBA Draft after the 2008-09 season.
Blake Griffin was a lock as the first pick in that draft but the rest of the first round was a mystery. Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden and Tyreke Evans went off the board. Then the Minnesota Timberwolves, with two picks and a need at point guard, were on the clock. They selected Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn, which left an excited Golden State with the next selection. They had won only 29 games and had a roster without any stars, and relied on Stephen Jackson, Kelenna Azubuike and Corey Maggette for offense. The Warriors picked Curry, who was clearly the start of a rebuild as no other Warriors from the 2009-10 season are still on their roster today.
2009-10 Rookie Class
Basketball card collectors had a complex group of rookie cards to consider as the 2009 season opened. Griffin didn’t play due to injury and Rubio stayed in Europe, although collectors still snapped up their first NBA cards. James Harden didn’t start for his team while few collectors wanted the 7-3 project center Thabeet.
Curry, who averaged 17.5 points as a rookie but was also overlooked by some collectors who thought players like Rubio, Ty Lawson or Brandon Jennings would be the top point guard. If you were one of those who believed in him, it’s a decision that’s paying off now.
Curry’s second place finish in the Rookie of the Year balloting came after a season in which he secured his first career triple double. Collectors had plenty of cards from which to choose, from super premium serial numbered autographs to budget priced issue base cards.
Steph Curry Rookie Cards
Among the premium NBA licensed rookie cards in 2009-10 was National Treasures. One of the top Curry rookie cards to get from that set is officially called 2009-10 Playoff National Treasures #206. It comes with a huge patch, usually with three colors, and an autograph. Only 99 cards were made. One of them, graded BGS 9.5 sold in early March via an eBay ‘Best Offer’ for $20,000.
Recently, however, one of just five copies of a three-color Curry NT Century Platinum auto patch card graded BGS 9 (with a ’10’ grade on the autograph) sold for $30,099.
In February, a four-color patch card numbered to 25, sold for $12,690.
There are plenty of other, and less expensive, Curry cards to acquire from National Treasures which also have memorabilia and/or autographs. Others include Colossal Materials Jersey Numbers Signatures, NBA Gear Dual Prime Signatures and Timeline Materials Custom Names Signatures. You can see what’s listed on eBay here.
The Topps Chrome #101 may not have an autograph or any memorabilia but its parallel versions are now bringing strong prices. A Gold Refractor, numbered to 50, sold for $5,500 in March 2016. A 1 of 1 Chrome SuperFractor is out there somewhere too, as well as cheaper Curry cards from the regular Topps set that year…but when we way “cheaper”, be prepared to fork over some significant cash for high-grade examples. A PSA 10 sold for $2,100 in March while BGS 9.5s were listed for over $2,000.
Upper Deck collectors also have quality Curry cards to find. His 2009-10 Exquisite Collection cards have been on fire. A Gold rookie auto #64 numbered to 30 sold for $9,400 recently. Curry also has an Exquisite rookie numbered to 31 while a little less pricey is the standard #64 numbered to 225.
A lower cost UD option is the 2009-10 Upper Deck Draft Edition Autographs #34.
A great collection of Curry cards will need a 1 of 1, and his 2009-10 Limited Platinum Spotlight #156 sold for $2,900 in 2015. The shiny card comes with a sticker auto and a small memorabilia patch. Curry also has some other autographs in Limited that are serial numbered. Another great Curry rookie to find is his 2009-10 Absolute Memorabilia #144 Rookie Premiere Materials. 2009-10 Playoff Contenders #106, 2009-10 Rookies and Stars #136, 2009-10 Crown Royale #103 and 2009-10 Timeless Treasures #106 are other quality Curry rookies to search for.
Curry’s Post-Rookie Highlights and Cards
After making the 2009-10 NBA All-Rookie First Team, Curry had a sold second season. Many were concerned that his ankles would be a problem during his career and that at 6-3 and 185 pounds he wasn’t strong enough for the NBA. He suffered numerous ankle sprains his rookie year and after surgery, played in 26 games in 2011-12. By then, some prospectors were unloading Curry.
The Warriors signed him to an extension before the 2012-13 season, though, and he has stayed healthy, improved his game and become a bargain for Golden State in the world of NBA contracts. His cards have also taken off with his scoring.
Some newer cards of Curry are just as popular as his rookie cards, with collectors spending big to secure his low-numbered premium cards. His 2012-13 Panini Flawless Platinum #59 1/1 with a diamond on the front was one that passed the $3,000 mark as Curry heated up. Curry’s 2013-14 Immaculate Collection Premium Autograph Patches Platinum #14 1/1 also brought a premium price. Curry’s 2013-14 Immaculate Collection Sole of the Game #22 is a card with a piece of his shoe and among the more affordable cards from the high-end set.
Along with National Treasures, Flawless and Immaculate are where the best Steph Curry cards can be found. Other Panini products also have many Curry cards to collect for all types of collectors and at various price levels. Those who collect parallels will find many different types in Hoops, Certified, Prizm, Donruss and Select. Gold Standard Curry cards are available with signatures, memorabilia or pieces of gold. Those looking for something really different can try his 2013-14 Innovation Kaboom #5 card or chase after his printing plates.
When Curry joined the Warriors they were a team at the bottom. Curry was the start of an upward trend and with the addition of the size of Bogut, the shooting of Thompson, the versatility of players like Green and Iguodala, an ownership group with ability to spend and one of the deepest benches in the NBA, the Warriors are now a dominant force. There is a good chance prices for Curry’s cards and things like autographed jerseys and other items will be strong for a long time.
He recently became the first player ever to have ten 3-pointers and ten 2-pointers in a game, become the first player ever to score 50 points while having less than two free throws, set a new NBA record for consecutive games with 3-pointer and moved his season total of three-pointers into third all-time behind, well, himself. He did this in the second game of a back-to-back toward the end of a six-game road trip. Safe to say Curry has been a pretty good investment for the Warriors–and collectors.
Check out the current ‘most watched’ Steph Curry cards on eBay via the list below.