There has been one trend in the NBA that has taken place that not many people have noticed. These might take your NBA card investments to the next level. Here are a couple of names that might catch your eye, Devin Booker, De’Aaron Fox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, and John Wall. At first glance, you might think these are just some of the top guards and young players on the rise in the NBA. There is one thing that keeps all these players tied together, Kentucky Men’s Basketball.
Not every guard that comes out of Kentucky will be a top scorer in the league or average 20+ points a game, but let us look at some other players that came out of the UK. Kevin Knox, who still might have a future young New York Knicks. Hamidou Diallo, only in his third year, has a future with a young Thunder team. Eric Bledsoe, a veteran player and still in his 10th year in the league, is averaging 12 points a game. Rajon Rondo, possibly a Hall of Fame player, is still one of the game's best facilitators today. Kentucky does a fantastic job of coaching up players and letting players develop in the NBA instead of peaking in college.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tyler Herro, and now Keldon Johnson might pave the way to the future top guards in this league. It’s always hard to predict how these players will pan out over 4-7 years, but let’s make some comparisons.
Shai is in his 3rd year in the NBA and averaging 19 ppg. This year and last years numbers are looking identical. Yet we are only 11 games into this season. That team in Oklahoma City is all his and will probably make the most significant strides of his career. Jumping almost 10 points a game from his freshman year to his sophomore caught some eyes, and his card prices are now reaching all-time highs, with his PSA 10 Prizm’s reaching $350.
Kentucky comparison: D’Aaron Fox. Fox, his rookie season, only put up less than one more point per game than Shai. Now averaging 18.4 ppg, and last season coming off a career-high 21.1 ppg season. Fox’s PSA 10 rookies are right around the $250 range. With similar numbers compared to Shai and D’Aaron, do you think SGA is at an all-time high?
Tyler Herro broke out last season in the bubble! Jumping from 13.4 ppg to over 17 ppg earned Tyler that starting role and had all eyes on him. There is one main problem in Miami, and that it is filled with tons of talent. With Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn, and Duncan Robinson that team is still pretty stacked with young talent. If Herro can break out this season into what he was in the bubble, we could see that team slowly transition into the Herro and Butler show. Similar to Shai’s PSA 10 rookies, Tyler Herro’s is right around $350 as well. We know the card market has been going crazy the past year, but is this the peak of his Prizm rookies?
Kentucky comparison: Devin Booker. Devin came into the league in 2015, and similar to Herro, he averaged 13.8 points during the regular season. After a couple of seasons into the league, the sharpshooter jumped up to 26.6 ppg. That team ultimately became the Booker show, and his card prices have jumped significantly. Jumping to $1,100 in the current market,
Booker this offseason became one of the biggest cards to chase. Could we see Herro and his 2019 Prizm rookie make that jump in the future?
Keldon Johnson has broken out this current season, and his card prices are going through the roof. During this comparison were not going to take a look at Keldon’s rookie season, considering he only played a total of 17 games and only started one of those during the entire season. This year, Johnson has started this season red hot and is currently one of the markets hottest players. Averaging over 16 ppg and being the backbone of that spurs team has earned
him much respect. Any player under Gregg Popovich will always have the ability to grow and succeed in this league. Current prices for Keldon Johnson are around the $300 range, with some reaching upwards of $400. Surpassing Shai and Tyler's current market, there is much promise with this young talent, and he reminds me of another huge Kentucky guard.
Kentucky Comparison: John Wall. John Wall coming out of Kentucky, was one of the hottest players in the 2010 draft! Taking a look at his numbers is almost a replica to Keldon Johnson and the start he has had to his career. Just like Johnson, Wall scored 16.4 points in his rookie season and soon became the NBA's latest craze. After several injuries throughout his career, he’s still averaging 23 ppg with 5.5 assists and five rebounds a game. John Walls current PSA 10 prestige rookies are sitting at $122, while his second year Prizm PSA 10's are $299. With Prizm being the main rookie card chased, we could see Keldon Johnson's true rookie Prizm see a significant jump in years to come.
It seems like if there is any card you are unsure about grabbing at the beginning of the season, you almost have a sure thing in Kentucky Basketball guards! Coming into this season, you have names like Tyrese Maxey, Immanuel Quickley, and Nick Richards. Keep an eye on these players before their prices rise, just like previous players. These NBA players might be a gamble worth