Rising Stars and Falling Cards: The NBA Playoff Effect on Sports Card Values

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The NBA playoffs have always been a pivotal time for both the sport and the sports card market. As teams clash on the court, collectors and investors keep a close watch on which players' cards are heating up and which might be cooling off. This year has been particularly interesting, with significant shifts in card values that mirror the dramatic storylines unfolding in the playoffs.

The Rise of New Stars

One of the most remarkable stories of this NBA season and its effect on the sports card market centers around Victor Wembanyama. His cards have dominated sales, with various editions like the 2023 Prizm and Donruss being particularly sought after. The "2023 Prizm #136 Base Raw" alone saw a staggering 1,628 sales in a single week, illustrating the immense hype surrounding this rookie.

Another player who's seen a significant uptick in card value is Anthony Edwards. His performances have cemented his place as a rising star in the league, making his "2020 Prizm #258 Base Raw" one of the most traded cards recently. Recent interest in Anthony Edwards cards has led to more than 30,000 of them being sold on eBay since the end of the NBA season with a raw total near $3 million.

Established Players Maintaining Value

LeBron James remains a reliable investment, especially with milestones like becoming the first NBA player to score 40,000 points potentially on the horizon. Events like these often lead to a temporary increase in the value of a player's cards. His "2003 Topps Chrome LeBron James #111" card, for instance, has maintained high value due to his ongoing contributions and legendary status.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is another star whose cards continue to attract attention. With the Bucks performing well and Giannis at the helm, there's a good chance his MVP and Finals cards will see a value spike, especially if he secures another MVP title.

Declining Values

While some players' cards are soaring, others experience dips. The dynamics of the playoffs and injuries can quickly shift a player's card value. For instance, Zion Williamson's injury has caused fluctuations in his card prices, though his "2019 Prizm Silver #248 PSA 9" has shown signs of recovery as he plays well.

The Impact of Media and Analysis on Card Values

In today’s digital age, the influence of media, especially sports podcasts and analysis platforms, on sports card values cannot be overstated. Shows like the FanDuel Bookmaker podcast not only discuss game predictions and player performances but often delve into the collectibles aspect, giving insights that can sway market sentiments significantly. This analysis naturally filters down to collectors and investors, who use these insights to make informed decisions about buying or selling cards. 

The ripple effect is evident as a player discussed for his potential breakout season on such platforms might see his card values spike even before he steps onto the court, demonstrating the powerful intersection of sports media and the trading card industry.


The NBA playoffs are more than just a battle for the championship; they're a pivotal event that can make or break the value of sports cards. As new stars rise like Wembanyama, and established players like LeBron and Giannis continue to impress, the sports card market reacts dynamically. Collectors should stay informed and agile, ready to act on the quick shifts that characterize this vibrant market.

For anyone looking to invest, it's crucial to keep an eye on player performances, playoff outcomes, and the overall health of players whose cards you hold or intend to acquire. With the playoffs still unfolding, the only certainty is that the market will continue to offer both opportunities and risks, reflective of the thrilling unpredictability of the NBA itself.

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