Two franchise players' careers are in jeopardy but for two different reasons. The super team Nets franchise point guard, Kyrie Irving is out for the season as he is exercising his right to pass on getting the vaccine. I want to make it abundantly clear, this article will not be about agreeing or disagreeing with Kyrie. On the other hand, Zion Williamson is apparently in the worst shape of his career and is out with a broken foot. This article will dive into each player's market and if you should be concerned for their future.
Over the last two seasons, Kyrie Irving averaged 27 points per game and has easily been one of the top 5 point guards in the league for almost a decade now. The 7x all-star will be missing this season as of now as we all know BUT how does this affect his card market and should you be worried?
Looking at his market index on Card Ladder we can see it has dipped a bit but nothing substantial while his 2012 Prizm base PSA 10 still is over $500. The answer to this question is a lot more complex than a simple yes or no but rather what your end game is. What did you buy (card wise) and what were your goals with said purchases? If you recently bought graded base cards intending to flip them this year, you should be fairly concerned. This Kyrie Irving situation is extremely unique as he has what so many players want, an NBA championship. This also was not just any regular old championship but rather being down 3-1 and hitting the game-winning shot in game 7. While of course playing alongside LeBron James and beating the 73 win Warriors. Kyrie Irving could retire tomorrow and nobody can take that away from him, his accolades speak for themselves. The fact he has a championship is huge as it does not put him in the Westbrook or Carmelo category of players. Kyrie has reached the mountaintop once before and that will forever be remembered in NBA history. Assuming Kyrie does not come back due to personal reasons, expect his common and even some rare Nets cards to lose value. On the flip side, maybe even expect to see an increase in high-end Cavalier cards. Kyrie Irving will always have a market, he has become one of the faces of the NBA with Uncle Drew and over 7 Nike signature shoes. Kyrie Irving, similar to players like Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, and Tracy McGrady will always have die-hard fan bases regardless if their careers were cut short. The NBA champion, 7x all-star, 3x all NBA, rookie of the year, and 50-40-90 club member has achieved so much in his career that a premature retirement will leave us with many what-ifs but also a lot of accolades set in stone. Nobody can take away what Kyrie has accomplished over his 10 year career.
The 2019 #1 overall pick has easily been the most hyped NBA prospect since LeBron, receiving the National spotlight since high school expectations for Zion were extraordinarily high. Unfortunately for Zion in his two NBA seasons, he has missed over 40% of his games. Coming into the league, Zion missed the first 3 months with a torn meniscus which he then left the bubble due to an ankle injury. His sophomore season was better and only missed 10 games but still battled through injuries he ultimately played through. 2 weeks before the NBA season, Pelicans general manager David Griffin announced that Zion broke his foot this offseason but should be ready for the season opener… Well, here we are with Zion having no timetable for return and will be evaluated in 2 weeks. Since then it has come out that Zion now weighs over 300 pounds, which to put in perspective he weighs more than any player in the league standing at just 6’7” and that includes 7’5” Boban Marjanovic. All of these things accumulating over the last year should leave investors extremely worried about Zion’s future. With knee, ankle, and now foot injuries accumulating at every level of competitive basketball, it should become worrisome for people. History shows us that foot injuries are the beginning of the end for big men. Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Bill Walton were two of the most promising big men in the game at their respective times and were never the same after injuring their feet.
Looking at how the markets reacted, it seems to be a wait-and-see approach for many. There is not much panic selling with people trying to dumb off all that they can while people arent avoiding his cards at all costs either. People are still buying his 2019 Prizm cards but for a 10-20% discounted rate which is more than fair considering the circumstances. When Zion does come back it will then possibly be his last chance for investors as god forbid he gets hurt again it will be his 4th noteworthy injury in just 3 seasons. Another reason why I emphasized Kyrie’s career accolades is because Zion does not have that. If Zion retired tomorrow his career would solely be based upon what-ifs, he has yet to accomplish anything of value. This is why you should be extremely worried about Zions card market as he has nothing to fall back on. Time will tell if Zion can get into playing shape but even if he does will he stay healthy???