The NBA All-Star Game will take place on February 19th. The captains for both teams will be Giannis Antetokuonmpo and LeBron James. Plenty of the faces in the game will be very familiar to fans. James will be making his 19th appearance, Kevin Durant will be there for the 13th time, and this will be Stephen Curry’s 9th game.
The cards for those stars are already well-established. But there will be four players making their first appearance in the game. And that presents an opportunity to snap up their rookie issues before they make multiple appearances. Here are the key rookie cards for stars playing in the All-Star game for the first time.
Jaren Jackson Jr. 2018 Panini Prizm Silver Auto
An outside fan looking at Jaren Jackson Jr.’s stat line might not understand right away why he would make an All-Star team. The Memphis power forward averages 16.6 points per game to go along with 6.7 rebounds. While those numbers are above average, they don’t scream All-Star.
What does scream All-Star is Jackson Jr.’s impact on the defensive side of the floor? His 3.3 blocks per game is first in the NBA, and he is able to defend almost any position on the floor. Jackson Jr. is a star in the same way Draymond Green and Ben Wallace were stars. One of his best rookie cards is his Silver Prizm auto, readily available on eBay.
Tyrese Haliburton 2020 Panini Patch Auto
Haliburton began his career as a member of the Sacramento Kings. He was traded by the Kings to the Indiana Pacers in a deal for Domantas Sabonis in February of 2022. The trade appears to be a win for both teams as Sabonis, and Haliburton will both be playing in the 2023 All-Star game.
While Haliburton was a good player for the Kings, he has blossomed into a star as a member of the Pacers. He is currently averaging 20.3 points and 10.3 assists a game. This is likely to be the first All-Star game of many for the point guard, and it would be a good idea to invest in a Panini Patch autographed rookie card.
Lauri Markkanan 2017 Panini Cornerstones Auto
Finnish forward Lauri Markkanan has been in the league for quite a while, having been drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves and traded to the Chicago Bulls during the 2017 NBA Draft. While he is in his 6th season, he is only 25 years old. With the Bulls and later the Cavaliers, Markannan had settled into a role as a solid starter, but not much more.
Markkanan was moved to the Utah Jazz in the Donovan Mitchell trade this offseason. Since then, his game has exploded, and the Finn now looks like a franchise player. Selected to his first All-Star game this year, Markkanan is averaging 24.8 PPG to go along with 8.7 rebounds. His rookie cards, including his Panini Cornerstones Auto, are selling briskly.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 2019 Absolute Tools of the Trade Auto
The Los Angeles Clippers drafted Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a raw but talented point guard prospect from Kentucky, with the 11th selection of the 2018 NBA Draft. After one season with the Clippers, he was traded to Oklahoma City in the Paul George trade. Those talents have grown in Oklahoma City, and the guard has now developed into a star.
It can be argued that Gilgeous-Alexander should have made an All-Star team prior to this year, but in 2023, he has left no doubt. He is currently averaging 30.8 PPG with a bunch of assists and rebounds. His rookie cards, like the one above, have nowhere to go but up.
*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.
Great write up! Def following and collecting all these players with the exception of Jaren Jackson Jr; really don’t see him doing much, Bane is the better pick up for me on that team besides Ja of course. Should be a fun game today! Ttyl