It's still a couple of months away before the 2022-23 NBA season begins. Until then, the offseason is in full swing for basketball fans and card collectors alike. And while some may see this period as downtime for NBA cards, there's still a good part of the hobby that's taking advantage of this dip in the market. That's why guys like Ja Morant are slowly gaining momentum, which will reach a crescendo once the new season starts in October. But it's not just the Memphis Grizzlies' star that should be on your radar. Here are the top prospects everyone needs to know about.
Ja Morant and the top NBA card prospects this offseason
The Minnesota Timberwolves just made a big swing by trading for Rudy Gobert. With this move, it's expected that the team's 13th place on defense last season will take a considerable jump next season. But apart from that, NBA card collectors are also looking forward to how this trade can impact Anthony Edwards' role, both on the field and in the market.
Just last season, Edwards averaged 21.3 points on 44% shooting from the field, 35% from deep, and 78% from the free throw line. He also tallied 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.5 steals while averaging 34.3 minutes in 72 games. The addition of Gobert into the Timberwolves lineup will definitely boost their defense, which in theory, gives both Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns more room to grow on the offensive end.
In turn, this will help the former take another leap, hopefully into All-Star territory. If that happens and Minnesota starts to rack up some wins early in the season, those Anthony Edwards rookie cards will certainly get a sweet bump in price.
4. Trae Young
While the Atlanta Hawks shocked everyone when they ended up in the Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks more than a year ago, the team regressed hard since then. This caused Trae Young's stock to get stuck in limbo, especially after bowing out in the first round against the Miami Heat recently.
That's all set to change after Atlanta took Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs via trade. With this move, the Hawks get an able defender and another playmaker to cause chaos with Young. In effect, this will help the All-Star guard lead his team back to relevance in the playoffs, especially if the Young-Murray connection fulfills its potential. In the event this happens, expect those Trae Young rookie cards to get more demand in the NBA card market.
3. Zion Williamson
After all the hype during his rookie and sophomore season, Zion Williamson's third year in the league was a downer because of a foot injury. Add the drama surrounding his physique off the court and you've got a formula for his card stock to regress from the insane peak it was years ago.
The thing is, there's a pretty good chance those Zion Williamson rookie cards can bounce back up when the season starts. For one, his performance back on the court is still a good sign to hold onto. His career averages of 25.7 points on 61% shooting from the field, 7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game will still make any basketball fan drool. But most importantly, the New Orleans Pelicans got better with CJ McCollum in the backcourt. If Williamson makes his way back to a credible form, expect the Pels and his rookie cards to make a killing sooner than later.
2. Luka Doncic
Without a doubt, Luka Doncic is among the very few guys in the NBA today with so much impact on offense. His shot creation and playmaking skills translated to a 6.4 offensive box rating last season, which was enough to push the Dallas Mavericks to the Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. And even though, his team lost, making it that far with no All-Star beside him is proof enough that Doncic will go far in the playoffs in the coming years.
That's why it's very important to take advantage of the offseason and load up on his stock, especially those Luka Doncic rookie cards. Barring any injury, it's almost certain that Doncic will ball out next season, especially with Christian Wood providing an upgrade on offense. If all goes well, the Mavericks' All-Star guard will see his prices rise at multiple points in the coming months.
1. Ja Morant
Even though Doncic is the far better player on the court, Ja Morant has the potential to upset the Slovenian guard in the NBA card market. As compared to the Mavericks, the Memphis Grizzlies boast a credible and more experience supporting cast for Morant.
If Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, and the other Grizzlies manage to take a step up when it comes to performance, it isn't hard to imagine Morant ascending as well. Just last season, the All-Star guard averaged 27.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. In the event Memphis continues to build upon its momentum during the past few seasons, Morant's stock will surely get a lot of demand in the market.