Not every rookie can be like Michael Jordan or LeBron James the moment they first play for the league. It’s a given that most of these rookies will have to adjust to the game’s speed and physicality. That’s why it’s not fair to judge their careers as a failure after just one season on the court. The same thoughts can also be applied for NBA card collectors trying to assess which rookies cards might be best to invest in.
It gets closer to fair play, though, during their sophomore campaign. At this point, these second-year players have already been acquainted with the ins and outs of being a pro. At the very least, they have an idea of the strengths that need to be cultivated and the weaknesses that have to be changed.
This season, rookies from the 2019 Draft class are under the microscope. Front offices and fans alike are already scrutinizing whether they deserve a long-term role with their teams or they’re better somewhere else.
Last year’s draft class coincided with the largest boom in the card market yet. A lot of fans have already invested a lot in these players’ rookie cards and are expecting them to yield dividends down the road. But that isn’t the case for every 2019 rookie. We take a look now at the rookie cards from last year’s draft you should sell as soon as possible.
Bol Bol – Denver Nuggets
Do you remember when Bol Bol went coast-to-coast during one of the warm-up games in the Bubble last season? It was at that point when every card fan went crazy on Bol by hoarding his rookie cards. Even with minimal playing time, the rookie’s value increased after displaying flashes of his upside last year.
Bol Bol goes coast-to-coast with the steal and the dunk 💥 pic.twitter.com/08OveDbLSL
— ESPN (@espn) August 13, 2020
This year is quite different for the 7’2” big man. In the seven games Bol played in the Bubble, he averaged 5.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per contest. Those numbers have dropped down with the sophomore garnering 1.4 points and 0.6 rebounds in 5.4 minutes this season.
As a result, Bol’s role for the Denver Nuggets is practically non-existent. The same goes for his value in the NBA card market. His only hope now is to be traded to a team that can give him more minutes or for Denver’s big men to be sidelined from the court.
Jarrett Culver – Minnesota Timberwolves
When Jarrett Culver was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the sixth pick in the 2019 Draft, the front office and fans expected him to be their quintessential 3 and D player. That hasn’t been the case for Culver last season, and even this one.
Culver hasn’t shown the ability to provide quality stops on the opposing wings assigned to him or even space the floor with his three-point shooting, or the lack thereof. This results in a -5.8 box plus/minus rating, the third-worst among the 16-man Timberwolves Roster.
A lot of fans have invested in Culver because of his make-up as an ideal 3 and D wing that had some playmaking potential. Almost two months into the season and that promise remains unfulfilled. It’s best to unload those Jarrett Culver rookie cards now while there’s still a chance to do so.
Rui Hachimura – Washington Wizards
The stigma of being associated with the Washington Wizards, currently the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference, has plunged Rui Hachimura’s stock in the NBA card market.
In some ways, Hachimura has maintained his averages from last season. This year, the Wizards’ starting power forward is averaging 13.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and two assists in 28.7 minutes per game. He’s also shooting more from beyond the arc with 2.5 attempts per contest and connecting 37% of them. And judging from the eye-test, his star potential isn’t shining as bright as last year. He’s one of the older members of the draft class as a 23-year-old sophomore and seems more of the the steady yet unspectacular prospects.
Even if his talents do bloom into something more, Hachimura’s contributions and development don’t mean squat if Washington continues to lose games. If this trend continues all throughout the NBA season, fans can expect Rui Hachimura rookie cards to lose their value. It’s wise to sell them now before they even drop further.
Cam Reddish – Atlanta Hawks
A lot of fans were high on Cam Reddish and low on De’Andre Hunter before the season started. As it turns out, everyone was rooting for the wrong Hawk all along.
Hunter is currently ahead of Reddish when it comes to points, rebounds, assists, and field goal percentage. Even with Hunter out of the roster because of a knee injury, Reddish hasn’t been able to replicate his performance for the Atlanta Hawks.
Lineups with Reddish as the Hawks’ starting wing and without Hunter have only attained a 33% win-loss rating. These numbers don’t bode well for Reddish, especially if Hunter comes back. Cash in your Cam Reddish rookie cards now before his stock goes down further when he goes back to the bench.