Even if Ja Morant is the hotter pick from the Class of 2019, there are those that still hold onto their Zion Williamson cards at this time. Rightfully so because the New Orleans Pelicans All-Star forward showed last season why his stock rose so high in the hobby, thanks to his elite efficiency and imposing frame. But with how things are going right now with him, should collectors be wary of his stock in the card market?
We take a look at how Williamson's situation right now and how his continued absence has affected his rookie card value.
The reason why Zion Williamson cards are a massive gamble
Although Williamson only played 24 games during his first year in the NBA, the then-rookie managed to put up impressive numbers during that time. In those contests, the Pelicans' forward notched 22.5 points on 58% shooting from the field, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. While those stats are noteworthy for a young player, Williamson's sophomore campaign will boost him towards a whole new level.
In the 61 games Williamson played last season, he posted 27 points per game while connecting 61% of his shots from the field. While his free throws and three-pointers were horrendous, he managed to compensate by adding 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 33.2 minutes. Thanks to his efficient offense, collectors took notice and scooped up those Zion Williamson cards on the market, driving his value through the roof. But after recent developments concerning the Pelicans' All-Star, his stock has become sort of a gamble for those in the hobby.
Pelicans star Zion Williamson will be getting more scans in 2-3 weeks as he continues his recovery from foot surgery.https://t.co/PPpjDE4ngu
— Pelicans Nation (@PelsNationCP) November 1, 2021
Weeks before the current NBA season started, New Orleans announced that Williamson fractured his right foot. Although he's been seen working out without any form of contact, there's still no guaranteed timeframe for his return anytime soon. The best Pelicans Head Coach has to offer is around two to three weeks more before Williamson comes back.
But it isn't just his fractured foot that's causing collectors to worry about his cards. Williamson's weight, which at one point exceeded 300 pounds, can potentially take his explosiveness and athleticism away. With images comparing his heyday at Duke to his current physique, basketball fans and card collectors alike are worrying that Williamson's career may go the way of Shawn Kemp, albeit at a faster rate of regression.
New ESPN analyst JJ Redick was asked on conference call: if a Pelicans fan asked you: should I be worried about Zion Williamson staying w/Pelicans long-term, what would you say? Redick – host of @OldManAndThree show – said NOP should be worried, generally, about Zion’s health: pic.twitter.com/FfHZw1SEEJ
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 1, 2021
Taking these two factors into account, lots of collectors in the hobby are ditching their Zion Williamson cards and turning towards the Memphis Grizzlies' Ja Morant. The dynamic point guard is on a tear right now and is making a leap right before our very eyes, the same act hobbyists expected Williamson to make during his third year in the league. This goes to show that card enthusiasts are leaning more towards a safer option than gambling on the Pelicans' forward.
The verdict on Zion Williamson cards
It's been a steady drop for Williamson' stock in the card market, to say the least. While rookie cards of Morant, and other young stars like LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards have been on the rise, the Pelicans' third-year forward is going the opposite direction. At the start of August, his PSA 10 Prizm Silver rookie card was valued at $3,900 on eBay.
After three months, that price has called down significantly to $2,600. This price decrease represents the hobby's sentiment on Zion Williamson cards and how the player behind them isn't living up to expectations right now.
Needless to say, there's always a silver lining to every stock that's falling down. No one can deny that Williamson's talent is above most guys in the NBA. In the event he manages to turn his weight around and return. to his dominant form, these current prices are going to be a steal. Holding his cards seems to be the safer option right now than selling them for a loss. Nevertheless, practice caution when you buy low on Zion's rookie cards or if you choose to keep them so you can maximize your money's worth.