Card Ladder’s player of the week will be a new weekly blog post which showcases four of the top players in the NBA the prior week. When selecting players we look at several statistics including; record, points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks per game. Although the players' weekly market change will not be a factor in selecting players, we will be looking at how their play impacted it.
Note: If you do not see a player you think should have made it, they might have been featured on the prior week's blog!
Field Goal %: 49%
What a week for Stephen Curry to say the absolute least! With the Warriors winning like they were years ago and Curry firing on all cylinders it seems the former MVP might be the MVP once more. Many questioned the Warriors heading into this season as they have been awful ever since the tragic 2018-19 season. Following Klay’s injury in the 2019 Finals, the Warriors had a horrid season where no one could stay healthy. Heading into 2020 there was a bit more optimism as they had a top 3 pick and everyone was finally healthy… That was until Klay tore his achilles in the off season and they just could never get things consistently going during the season. Well now with a relatively healthy roster that is loaded in depth, the Warriors are firing on all cylinders with Wiseman and Thompson returning to action soon.
Curry’s market is unlike any other player in the league due to the economics and demographics of the Bay Area. The homegrown hero has not only a massive fan base in the Bay but also in Asia with many foreigners living in the Bay Area. Curry’s market is the highest it has ever been on the Card Ladder player index. His Topps base rookie paper BGS 9.5 is up 35% over the last month while his quarterly change is just 5%. Curry has already won multiple MVPs and championships so scoring a lot of points and regular season wins will only move the needle so much.
Field Goal %: 42%
Heading into the 2021 season many had the Clippers as a wildcard not knowing what to expect with Kawhi Leonard being out for the year. Despite a rough start to the season losing their first 4 out of 5 games, the Clippers went on a 7 game win streak in large part (if not all the part) to Paul George. George is a unique star in which he seems to do better with sub par talent around him. So far this season he is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists, and steals which is impressive for a 32 year old who was an MVP finalist years ago.
Looking at George’s market it is really hard to tell how well he is playing in large part due to him having only 1 desired rookie card. Things at Panini god weird during the 2010-11 season with it being their second year with the license, they tried a lot of things and simply failed. There was no Prizm, Select, Immaculate, Hoops, or even Flawless! The card that you can judge the Paul George market by is the National Treasures true RPA which has not sold since the start of the season. It's safe to say even without a sale when one does surface it is likely to sell for a bit more than they did in the off season. At 32 years old and still in his prime only 2 things could boost George’s market, one being a championship and another being an MVP. With Kawhi coming back this April allegedly it’s possible that both could become a reality.
Field Goal %: 52%
Could it be? Could it actually be? Anthony Davis realizes he is a 7 footer with the skill set of a guard, forward, and center who can score at all 3 levels… Although it has only been a week it seems finally that Davis might claim the #1 spot on the Lakers. With LeBron aging and out with an injury and Westbrook doing whatever the hell he's doing, Davis' dominance over the last week is a promising sign. LeBron has never had a #1 option that could win games while he was out, despite playing with Wade, Kyrie, Bosh, and Love they all had a losing record with James out.
Davis’ market is tricky because during the summer of 2020 things were so grossly manipulated that it was hard to gauge what was real and what wasn't. Since then his market is down a lot from June of 2020 but still up overall from 2019 by a ton. The Davis market is championship or bust as that's the expectation of being a Laker on a superteam.
Field Goal %: 63%
When starting these I really did not want to put the same player in consecutive weeks but I mean… 32 points with a 3-1 record on 63% shooting is INSANE. While Harden struggles and Kyrie is out it seems that Durant has picked up the 2013 Thunder day workload. Similar to the Davis market, everything was so grossly manipulated in February of 2021 that it's hard to tell where the market will go next and if it can reach what it once was.
His market is still down overall after a disappointing playoff exit and his career being finals dependent. Durant has achieved everything one could want but his career is now in the LeBron stage where more and more titles are needed. A 32 point week for KD might be enough to see massive gains for Cam Reddish but not Durant. Already regarded as a top 20 player of all time, the only thing holding Durant back from top 10 is winning a ring of his own. A constant knock of his is that he joined a 73 win team and basically got 2 free rings so the Nets venture was his way of possibly changing that narrative.