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Zion Williamson Sports Card Outlook

Zion Williamson is an exceptional talent. However, his stock has plummeted recently due to injuries and weight problems. So, we ask: what is the Zion Williamson sports card outlook? Is he still a good investment?

Thanks to social media, talented young athletes are getting a chance to show off their basketball skills to millions of strangers all over the world. That exposure can help propel a talented high school basketball star into a top-ranked college recruit almost overnight. But, once the hype train leaves the station, it will be impossible to stop it.

Not every athlete can live up to the hype and end up struggling in college. The added pressure can hurt their future in the NBA. But then some own the hype and surpass all expectations, usually leaving the fans in awe every time they step onto the court.

Because the NBA is a star-driven league, they need superstars. Therefore, promoting future stars before they play a game is part of the leagues’ promotion strategy. However, the list of stars deserving that treatment is small and includes players like Patrick Ewing, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Zion Williamson.

Who is Zion Williamson?

When Zion Williamson was a Sophomore at Spartanburg Day School in Spartanburg, South Carolina, he emerged as one of the nation’s most talented basketball players after participating in the NBPA Top 100 camp and finishing as the top scorer. That was the moment people started to take notice of this kid named Zion. He would get better every year in high school and put up some nasty numbers.

The no. 1 draft pick helped fuel the pandemic card boom (get Zion posters on Amazon)

Zion Williamson’s High School Stats

Year G Min Pts Reb Asts Stl Blk
Freshman 20 27.5 24.4 9.4 2.8 3.3 3.0
Sophomore 26 28.7 28.3 10.4 2.5 2.7 3.9
Junior 35 29.4 36.8 13.0 3.2 3.0 2.5
Senior 19 23.4 36.4 11.4 3.5 3.4 2.3
Totals 100 27.7 32.0 11.3 3.0 3.0 2.9

Following his outstanding high school career, Zion Williamson headed off to Duke, where he would continue to impress everyone and solidify his case for the 2019 NBA Draft’s top overall selection. He even missed six games due to a knee sprain he suffered late in the year but returned for the NCAA Tournament.

G Pts FG% Reb Ast Stl Blk
33 22.6 68.0% 8.9 2.1 2.1 1.8

During the NBA Draft Lottery, the New Orleans Pelicans landed him with the number one pick. It was one of the most straightforward choices the organization has ever made. But, unfortunately, his debut was postponed until January 22nd, after he tore his meniscus during the Pelicans preseason.

Once Zion arrived, he was nothing short of spectacular. He showed off just how great of a scorer he is and ended up averaging 22.5 points a game, leading all rookies. He even became the first rookie in NBA history to score over 20 points in 10 consecutive games.

The Zion Williamson Sports Card Outlook: His Struggles

During the offseason, Zion Williamson underwent foot surgery required to fix a right foot fracture he suffered at some point in time. However, this became a news story because not a single person knew about it until late September.

Before this revelation happened, Zion’s family had already started speaking to reporters about their displeasure with the New Orleans Pelicans. Unfortunately, that is not the type of rumor that makes a collector feel warm and fuzzy about Zion’s future.

But then a video surfaced that would paint an even darker image on the budding superstar. The viral video shows Zion Williamson training on the court and working to get back to full strength. The cause for concern was Zion’s weight gain, which can only be described as significantly noticeable.

From the perspective of collectors, these issues may lower the prices of Zion’s cards.

As you can see from these doctored images, Twitter has responded with its usual sensitivity to Zions weight struggles (pictures taken from Twitter)

Zion Williamson Sports Card Outlook: Card Population Issues

Do you remember how easy it was to go to Wal-Mart and buy a box of Prizm? That was in 2019, just before Zion Williamson was drafted to the Pelicans. As soon as his cards became available, collectors started running to grab any and every box that may contain his cards. His cards contributed to the massive card boom of 2020.

But all those Zion Williamson rookie cards were so highly valued that just about every collector that got one ended up sending it off to get graded. That rush has ended up flooding the market with his graded rookie cards. His Panini Prizm base rookie card has 18,700 PSA 10 graded cards in existence, a record. That alone will drop the price of his card because supply and demand mean that no one will pay a premium for it if everyone has it.

With so many Zion Williamson rookie cards being sold today, it will not take much before collectors give up and unload his cards.

The base Zion rookies are very popular. Maybe too popular (look for his Prizm rookies on eBay)

Is he likely to bounce back?

With all the negativity surrounding his offseason foot surgery, maybe it is time to start talking about the positives. We believe he will be able to play for the majority of the 2021-22 season.

Also, his injuries are not career-ending ones. He has already shown he can bounce back from them and make an immediate impact as soon as he steps on the court. Finally, do not forget that Zion Williamson is the type of athlete that has won at every level going back to AAU basketball.

People also seem to forget he is still just 21 years old and will soon be starting his third season in the league. Michael Jordan was 23 years old when he played in his third year, so there is plenty of time for Zion to get healthy and still be as good as he should have been from day one.

Is he likely to bounce back? We sure hope so. The NBA has never seen a player of his size throw down dunks like Vince Carter, score at the rim like Kobe Bryant, and play defense like Scottie Pippen. The only question is whether he can sustain his health once he returns.

Zion Williamson Sports Card Outlook: The Top 10 Cards

By the time Zion Williamson entered the league, he was already a household name. He signed lucrative endorsement deals with Gatorade, Mountain Dew, NBA2K, and an exclusive trading card contract with Panini.

As the sports world celebrated the potential of this incredible athlete, card collectors took notice. But with such a large amount of graded Zion Williamson cards currently available today, it is tough to find the hidden gems.

However, after evaluating his rookie cards collection, we found 10 of them that were simply the best. All of these cards are 2019-2020 cards.

  1. Panini Crown Royale Gold Auto RC #/10

With so many collectors going crazy chasing Prizms, Crown Royale continues to be the most unappreciated Panini release. Unfortunately, most collectors hate the die-cut cards because of how difficult it is to get high grades, but this Zion rookie card is truly one of the best-looking ones.

Panini Crown Royale Gold Auto RC has a sticker auto, but still looks great (look for one on eBay)

  1. Panini Immaculate RPA #/99

If you were still wondering about the current state of Zion Williamson’s rookie cards, then take a look at his 2019 Panini Immaculate Collection Patch Auto Rookie Card. Two months after selling for $25,100 in February of this year, one sold for $38,600 on eBay, showing that collectors are still excited about Zion.

  1. Panini Contenders Cracked Ice Auto #/25

Whoever designed the cracked ice parallels should be running Panini because there truly is not anything like it. Not only does it sparkle, but it is also one of those cards that can be spotted a mile away.

The Cracked Ice Contenders is another stylish sticker auto (get yours from eBay)

  1. Panini Prizm Fast Break Neon Green #/5

For the first time in our Top 10, we have a non-auto Zion Williamson rookie card. Unfortunately, this Panini Prizm parallel came in the Fast Break boxes and was very hard to obtain.

  1. Panini Flawless Emerald RPA #/15

When it comes to patches, the more colors, the better, and it doesn’t come more colorful or sicker than this Zion Williamson Flawless Emerald Patch Auto Rookie Card. The patch on the card comes from New Orlean’s special “Mardi Gras” jerseys they wear during the parade season. That makes a card numbered to fifteen even more special.

The Mardi Gras patch really makes this card pop (look for them on eBay)

  1. Panini Select Black Disco Prizm 1/1

If you land a highly valued one of one card, would you get it graded? Whoever landed this Select Black Disco Prizm got even luckier when it came back as a PSA 10. It is the only version of that Zion card in existence, so there is no competition.

  1. National Treasures Stars & Stripes RPA #/30

Panini’s National Treasures series is one of their most expensive card sets. They understand how to design a card with an autograph and a patch better than anyone. But they also hold value. One PSA 9 sold for a whopping $136,530.

  1. National Treasures RPA #/99

Typically, a player’s highest-priced rookie cards will be the lower numbered cards. But the National Treasures series is so respected that when the Zion Williamson rookie cards started to hit the market, all 99 of them were valued at around a quarter of a million dollars.

How about this RPA? (See what they have available on eBay)

  1. Panini Flawless Dual Logoman RC w/ LeBron James 1/1

When Flawless unveiled a Dual Logoman Tag Rookie Card featuring both Zion Williamson and LeBron James, collectors knew it was going to explode in value, and it did. The card sold at auction for $204,000.

  1. Panini Flawless Logoman RC 1/1

The Logoman one-of-one cards, for any series, are often the most respected and loved by all collectors. But, unfortunately, none of them are cheap, and when Zion’s hit the open market, it became the most expensive card of his ever sold, going for 233,700 back in January of this year at Goldin Auctions.

Here is a #/5 version of the Zion Logoman (get one on eBay)

The Top 10 Pop Report

Card 8 9 10 Total
Crown Royale Gold 1 1 1 3
Immaculate RPA 4 3 1 10
Contenders Cracked Ice Auto (BGS) 0 6 0 17
Prizm Fast Break Neon Green 0 0 3 3
Flawless Emerald RPA 0 0 1 1
Select Black Disco Prizm 0 0 1 1
National Treasures Stars & Stripes 1 1 0 2
National Treasures RPA 0 15 0 35
Flawless Dual Logoman w/ LeBron James 0 0 0 0
Flawless Logoman 0 1 0 1

Zion Williamson Sports Card Outlook: Is This The Time To Invest?

When you take his injury history over the past three years and combine it with news stories about his family wanting him out of New Orleans, it can spell disaster for Zion Williamson’s card values. Collectors will not invest in a player that is becoming more of a hassle than a superstar.

Any professional athlete can turn into a star overnight and watch their card values slowly increase in value. But some of them explode in value. Odell Beckham Jr. is an excellent example because, in 2015, his cards turned into the hottest to collect on the market. But then the injury bug got a hold of him, and everything started to change, quickly too. Within a couple of years, his cards plummeted back down to regular prices.

Right now, as we wait for Zion to start his third season finally, collectors are already panicking and selling off many of his base rookie cards. However, most of his premium cards are still going to cost you a lot of money, but much less than a year ago.

Even after saying all of that, this is still the best time to buy his cards. Just like in the stock market, when a stock dips, you buy it. Today, most Zion Williamson’s rookie cards are losing value, and collectors are either selling them off or waiting to see what happens. So, while they stand around doing nothing, you should invest now.

Will Zion be another Odell Beckham Jr.? (get a OBJ RC on eBay)

Bottomline Of The Zion Williamson Sports Card Outlook 

Zion Williamson is 21 years old and, if not for his injuries, would be just as valuable today as he was two years ago. But, unfortunately, people seem to forget about the massive improvements Zion made since his rookie season.

Year G Min FG % Pts Reb Ast Stl Blk PER
First Sesaon 2019-20 24 27.8 58.3% 22.5 6.3 2.1 0.7 0.4 24.1
Second Season 2020-21 61 33.2 61.1% 27.0 7.2 3.7 0.9 0.6 27.1

As you can easily see, Zion has already begun his ascent into greatness, but no one was paying attention because all they focused on was how many games he missed. After all, his 27 points per game average rank as the third-highest all-time by a player younger than 20 years old.

From a card collecting standpoint, he is still one of the NBA’s most valuable players and will continue to be as long as he can get back on the court. Because he still has value, so will his cards, so if anyone finds a deal, jump on it right away. It may not last.

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