Whether lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic or player apathy for the regular season, this has been a strange start to the NBA year.  Past the quarter mark, the previously inept Chicago Bulls have the third-best record in the Eastern Conference, while perennial contenders like the Celtics, 76ers, Hawks, Lakers and Nuggets have struggled at times and currently have roughly as many wins as losses.  

In addition, most of the basketball card market is down significantly from the prices seen last summer.  While this can be scary, I think now might be a good time to allocate some funds to low-cost rookies of some of the game’s quality young players.  My thought is that over the next three months, as the NFL season winds down and collectors get concerned about the MLB labor dispute, more cash will flow to basketball, resulting in a price bump for the sport’s cards.  Below are six cards that I will have by eye on in the coming weeks:

2018-19 NBA Hoops #268 

Luka Doncic

Admittedly, I was slow to come around on Luka.  During his first three seasons, I questioned his ability to shoot and his commitment to physical fitness.  What I saw in the playoffs last year changed my mind.  Luka is a great all-around player who can carry a franchise when needed.  Although concerns about his stamina have resurfaced again in recent weeks, Doncic is averaging an impressive 26 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists per game this season.  I believe that he will win an NBA MVP someday.  Almost all Doncic’s cards are down since the season started.  If you like him as a long-term purchase, now may be a time to buy low.  The card I will be watching is his 2018-19 Hoops.  A PSA 9 costs $75.

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