After so many years of being a top-tier team in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors are in the midst of a tough season. The Raptors are currently 10th in the Eastern Conference with a 24-34 record, thanks in large part to a crazy COVID-19 season that has resulted in a number of key players missing time. While it has been a bleak season for Toronto, there are several investment gems that are waiting to be unearthed when it comes to NBA cards. These are Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., and OG Anunoby.
On the surface, most collectors are wary of investing in players from Toronto. Rightfully so, because the team is really underperforming this season. Even if that’s the case, the three players stated above are making a good case to convince card fans otherwise. We take a look down below which Raptor presents the best investment opportunity and why these guys are ideal buy-low candidates.
Defense, which has been a key to the Raptors’ success over the past seasons, has always been exemplified by the team’s wings. Apart from Pascal Siakam, there isn’t another forward on Toronto’s roster more valuable than OG Anunoby.
The 23-year-old forward from Indiana University is having the best season of his four-year career when it comes to stats. In the 37 games Anunoby has played this year, he’s posting 14.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.6 steals in 33.0 minutes per contest. While those numbers look promising, it’s his role as a 3-and-D wing that’s Anunoby’s ticket to success.
This season, he’s connecting on 39.3% of his 5.8 attempts per game from downtown. At the same time, Anunoby boasts a unique ability to lock fleet-footed guards on the perimeter and contain larger opponents below the rim. These talents improve Toronto’s spacing on offense and the overall effectiveness on the defensive end of the court.
As of now, Anunoby’s stock is quite affordable. His PSA 10 2017 Prizm rookie card last sold for $81 on eBay.
Gary Trent Jr.
If there’s one thing that sets Gary Trent Jr. apart from the crowd, it’s his ability to get hot on offense. This is very evident, especially when the former Portland Trail Blazer scorched opposing squads in Orlando by hitting 47.9% from beyond the arc and 46.5% from the field.
Trent’s defining quality hasn’t changed now that he’s playing for the Raptors. Right off the bat, the 6-foot-5 guard is notching 17.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.3 steals in 33.6 minutes per game. He’s also making 38.9% of his 3-pointers.
More than a week ago, Trent showed everybody why he was a force to be reckoned with in Orlando last year. In a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, he notched 44 points and 11 assists to lead the Raptors to a 135-115 victory.
While Anunoby and Trent are solid pieces for the Raptors, Fred VanVleet is certainly the team’s brightest hope for the future. This was proven when the franchise signed Steady Freddy to a four-year, $85 million contract during the offseason.
The 6-foot-1 guard, for his part, has been nothing but solid in the 45 games he has played this year. VanVleet is currently averaging 19.5 points, 6.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.7 steals in 36.1 minutes per game. His overall game is further supplemented by his 36.6% rating from the perimeter on high volume, which was shown in full display against the Orlando Magic in February.
In that game, VanVleet drained 11 of his 14 attempts from downtown. He also connected on 17 of his 23 shots from the field, amounting to a career-high 54-point performance.
Since Steady Freddy entered the NBA as an undrafted player, he didn’t receive a proper Prizm rookie card. What is readily available is his sophomore PSA 10 2018 Prizm card, which was last sold at $130.
The verdict on which Toronto Raptors player is the ideal investment for card collectors
Anunoby, for all of his strengths, has rarely taken over games and dominated. Meanwhile, Trent can be seen as a one-trick pony who doesn’t offer anything defensively. While VanVleet has his own share of weaknesses, his card potential is certainly brighter than his two teammates.
Steady Freddy is the better investment option because his star is on the rise in Toronto, as opposed to Pascal Siakam, who’s clearly regressing from his All-Star season. Furthermore, the scarcity of true Fred VanVleet rookie cards only serves to boost his overall value. If you’re a Toronto Raptors fan and looking for the best player to invest from that team, VanVleet’s stock is what you should be investing in.