The 42nd The National sports memorabilia and collectible convention just wrapped up in Atlantic City. Going by price trends over the last few years, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram have been worth the investment by the New Orleans Pelicans and sports card collectors.
Williamson’s rookie card market was borderline “unprecedented” according to Mark Channing, owner of Markman Cards and Collectibles in Metairie, LA. Channing is the official ‘breaker’ of the New Orleans Pelicans, opening exclusive hobby boxes of cards during breaks in the game. The revealing of the cards can be seen on the JumboTron and one lucky fan gets to walk away with the contents.
Channing explained the perfect timing of how “the hobby boomed during COVID. Zion and Ja (Morant) came in that 2019 class and things just exploded. Great young players, a fantastic draft.”
As for those who sold their Williamson cards while the newly signed All-Star was rehabbing? “That was a mistake. It’s like a stock. When it’s high, get your money. But to sell low on Zion early. That’s a mistake. Just look at the excitement around the team now. I’m not saying they win a title but they look great.”
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Williamson’s cards hit their lowest points between last Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Prices plummeted when his injury news broke during media day at the fall continued through the revelation that he would be rehabbing in Portland away from the team. Now some Williamson limited edition cards are fetching almost $5000 on ebay.
The 1/1 Prizm edition was valued at over $100,000 and the pack holding the card has been found. Any 10 mint graded Kaboom inserts will cost at least $10,000 regardless of the authentication company.
Channing says even though rookie cards are the most desired, fans are coming in looking for CJ McCollum prints in a New Orleans jersey. The same applies to Brandon Ingram, although his Laker rookie cards are seeing an uptick in value among collectors.
Goldin Auctions feels Ingram’s card market could follow a similar path as Kevin Durant’s. Ingram’s talent alone will boost the value to collectors even though he has changed uniforms. Fans can still get a few of the prints for less than $10, but autographed editions are starting to cost four figures at least.
The strong rookie class of Trey Murhpy III, Herb Jones, and Jose Alvarado will keep the Pelicans relevant for those on the collector’s chase. Channing said having so many desired names is just one more way the Pelicans will remain at the forefront of most every basketball conversation. He’ll be along for the ride for another few years, ripping and shipping boxes from the Smoothie King Center.
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