NBA Season 2023-24 Basketball Card Investing Preview: What You Should And Shouldn’t Buy
NBA cards have been the most valuable and chased cards over the last decade. Spurred by big rookies and more collectability at all positions (the best player in basketball is a center, right?), basketball cards have massive appeal.
For hoops collectors and investors, a new season always brims with new opportunities to make money… especially if you can get the jump on the rest of the community.
To help, here is the CardLines annual NBA season preview. Invest accordingly (and use your own predictions!)
Predicted storylines for the 2023-24 NBA season
Here are three storylines to keep an eye on for the 2023-24 NBA season.
SGA finishes top 3 in MVP voting
Last year, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was not only our “breakout candidate,” but also somebody who lived up to it.
He finished number 5 in MVP voting, and this year, we’re calling for an even better finish. And, to top it off, here’s another bold prediction: the Thunder host a playoff series.
While they’re still young, adding Chet’s size will help… if he can stay healthy!
The old heads still dominate
LeBron James, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant keep their Top 10 status despite facing rookies that are half their age. And by dominate, I’m not saying they all play 82 games or all finish top-3 in MVP.
But when it comes down to a “game-on-the-line, who do you want on your team” type of situation, these guys are going to go yet another year without passing on the torch to the young bucks.
The top 5 MVP vote-getters will all be foreign: Giannis, Jokic, SGA, Luka, and Embiid. Devin Booker will be the American to receive the most votes with Devi Booker right behind him. I’d say Jokic wins his third in four years… but he truly doesn’t seem to care.
The Lakers are a top 3 team
After some great moves this offseason (we see you, Gabe Vincent), the Lakers will live up to the hype for the first time since 2020.
Despite being swept, they somehow played the Nuggets better than anybody in the playoffs last year, and this year we can expect more of the same despite LeBron entering his 109th season.
This is the year of Wemby
Victor Wembanyama might be the most must-watch television going into the NBA season. From the glimpses we’ve seen, it’s hard to take your eyes off him any time he’s on the court.
It’s hard not to imagine him as a ROY winner if he stays healthy, but this could be bigger than that… this could be the future of the league for the next two decades.
We know the Spurs won’t rush him, but it’s exciting to see where things go.
Predicted award winners for the 2023-24 NBA season
Winning an award can vault the value of cards (particularly the MVP and ROY). Here are our predictions for who walks away with the hardware at the end of the year.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (+700 on Fanduel).
Giannis will win his second MVP and Finals this year. Adding Dame was the best thing the Bucks could have done this year, and it’s going to help them edge out the Celtics.
It’s hard to imagine Giannis’s stats going up now that there’s another volume-scorer on his team, expect a rise in his assists and overall defensive stats since he’ll be asked to do more on that side of the floor.
Crazy sleeper pick for 2023-24 NBA MVP pick
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+1800)
SGA has been a CardLines darling for 2 years, so how could we not pick him in this spot?
We called for a breakout year last year, and with the Thunder poised to be competitive this season, the 5th place MVP from last year could make yet another leap.
Rookie of the year
Victor Wembanyama (-145)
If Wembanyama stays healthy this season, it’s hard to imagine he won’t win ROY. People want him to succeed. The league wants him to succeed. He seems like a great young man with huge potential, and we’re pulling for him, too.
Crazy sleeper pick for 2023-24 NBA Rookie of the year
Dereck Lively II (+8000)
Luka needs help (he doesn’t believe the earth is round), and Lively could be the man for the job.
While he never truly dominated at Duke as Blue Devils fans hoped, Lively might have a more NBA-friendly skillset and an environment to cultivate his development.
2023-24 NBA Finals champ
We’re not betting against Giannis, who now has a new running mate to help get the job done.
Runner-up pick: Denver
After getting their first win last year, the Nuggets could be even better. Jokic has been the best player in basketball for the last three years, and if they can stay healthy (looking at you, MPJ and Murray), a repeat is in the cards.
NBA 2023-2024 Sports Card preview of releases
While the Fanatics takeover looms on the distant horizon, Panini will continue to release their tried and true classics. Here are the top three recommendations
Low-end pick: Donruss
This is our pick for low-end products. With the awesome Rated Rookie and new color variations, Donruss has some high-dollar cards mixed among a lot of base paper.
If you’re getting into collecting (or bringing your kids into the hobby), Donruss is a low-cost investment.
Mid-tier pick: Prizm
The most chased basketball product. It’s printed widely enough that everybody can chase the cards and expensive enough that the rookies feel like a great long-term hold.
The print run on blasters is enough that you should probably stay away there, but at the hobby level, this is the creme of the crop.
Mid-tier Pick: Donruss Optic
A slightly less expensive Prizm product that’s chromium Donruss. The Rated Rookie cards feel classic and timeless, while new color offerings spice it up every year.
High-end Pick: National Treasures
This brand is the high-end choice for big spenders. There are more and more one-pack, four-figure boxes every year (like Noir and Flawless, for example), but this is the signature high-end brand. The RPAs of National Treasure are the biggest cards you can pull.
NBA 2022-2023 sports card preview of investment strategies
Finally, let’s take a look at some investment strategies for the upcoming season.
What to avoid
If you’re strictly worried about making a profit, there are many things to avoid. With Panini printing as many cards as they can because people are gobbling them up, which will negatively impact their long-term value.
So, stay clear of college uniform cards (“draft picks”) of any sort unless it’s perhaps 1st Bowman cards in Bowman University, and don’t buy retail blasters to set on as a retirement plan.
If you want to rip them and have some fun, go for it, but you can’t expect to make much. (Pro-tip: expect to lose money on retail). If you’re trying to make money, I’d even caution against buying base rookie cards, even graded ones.
What to buy
So, I ruled out most of the card market. What’s left to buy?
Pick up numbered rookies and autographs of the players you like as long-term prospects. These cards will hold up to the test of time because of their scarcity. Also, being limited in production will mean they’re always collector’s items.
Bottomline of the NBA 2023-24 sports card preview
Like any investment, the way to make money on sports cards is by staying ahead of the ever-changing league.
By predicting risers, fallers and champions, you can make big bucks on sports cards. We hope this guide serves you well in the 2023-24 NBA season!