Thursday, June 26, 2008

What the NBA Draft means to the card business

Finding a Derrick Rose unsigned, "un-reliced" base card will be a challenge once the season starts just as it was with Durant last year

We all know that the football draft has a huge impact on the football card market as the collector's who have been guessing what team the rookies in SAGE and Press Pass will be drafted by finally get their wish. And some new love affairs are born. Honestly, how many Packers collectors thought they would be stocking up Brian Brohm cards?

However, the basketball card market doesn't get the same response as there is no suspense in watching an eBay auction for a certain player's Press Pass card wondering if your team will draft him. That is because there is no SAGE and Press Pass released before the draft.

The basketball market is also largely controlled by Upper Deck, king of patches, autographs and other relics, which means that most rookie cards of basketball stars are of the autographed variety. Poor little 12-year old Johnny from Chicago will just have to settle for the Topps Derrick Rose card and be happy with it.

In football, there is Topps, Upper Deck Rookie Exclusives, Topps Total, Bowman and Score which all have very affordable rookie cards of even the top names. In basketball, there is Bowman, Fleer, Stadium Club, Topps and Upper Deck that provide cheap rookies.

The main forces in basketball today are Exquisite, Bowman Sterling, Upper Deck Premier, Topps Echelon and SP Authentic among others. The problem is that there aren't as many middle-end products in basketball as there in football.

There is Topps Rookie Progression, Ultra, Upper Deck, Upper Deck Trilogy, Topps T/X, Select, Playoff Prestige, Donruss Threads and Donruss Classics that all provide collector's with the chance of getting something really good for around $50-$100 per box. Basketball has a few options for this same thrill, but the companies are more about producing the most fancy sets that they can.

So for all you low-end NBA collectors, you may want to spread out your spending over the year so you still have a low-end product to buy around playoff time next year when you're favorite rookie is blazing a trail through whatever team he may be facing. Because if you don't, chances are, you will salivating over that box of Bowman Sterling with the $200 price tag.

And Upper Deck wonders why the basketball card market is dying.

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