NBA Playoff Card Impact: Which Players Have the Most to Gain?

It's no secret that the NBA playoffs have a strong impact on card prices. Which player do you think has the most to gain during these playoffs?

NBA Playoff Card Impact: Which Players Have the Most to Gain?

It’s no secret that the NBA playoffs have a strong impact on card prices - both in the short and long term.

We saw it during the bubble playoffs in 2020 when Tyler Herro’s performance sent shockwaves through the collecting community.

A few strong examples popped up again during last year’s playoffs, too. The most notable is the explosion of Devin Booker’s collection on Dibbs during the Suns' playoff run.

For all these examples, we’ll be looking at the year-long data collected on Dibbs.

The goal of this will be to look forward to these playoffs, helping to identify stars who may just break out on the biggest stage. First, however, it is important to look back on last year.

Let’s get into it.

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2021 Playoffs

Devin Booker

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Stephen Curry

Players With The Most To Gain

Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker

Chris Paul

Jayson Tatum

James Harden

Wrapping It All Up

2021 Playoffs

Devin Booker

Booker and the Suns made an incredible run to the NBA Finals last season. The run was ultimately capped with a loss to Giannis and the Milwaukee Bucks (more on Giannis later).

Booker’s performance stood out, though. During 22 games in the 2021 playoffs, Booker averaged 27.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game.

Collectors on Dibbs clearly took notice. On May 23rd, Booker’s collection sat at $10,405.93. It peaked on July 11th, during the NBA Finals, at $25,291.14.
Ultimately, following the loss in the finals, Booker’s collection settled at $16,014.39 on July 25th. That is good for a 53% increase during the playoffs.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Leading the Bucks to an exhilarating championship win, the 2021 playoffs were incredible for Giannis.

Throughout the playoffs, he averaged 30.2 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 5.1 assists. He capped it off with a 50-point game to close out the NBA Finals.

His Collection on Dibbs mirrored his performance. On May 23rd, when the playoffs were just getting started, his Collection was at $5,712.17. After the Finals victory, Giannis’ Collection jumped to $7,618.46 on July 25th.

Stephen Curry

On the other side of the coin, there is Steph Curry, whose Collection went the opposite direction following a disappointing loss in the play-in tournament to Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies.

About a week before the play-in tournament, on May 9th, Curry’s Collection was at $18,886.44.

On May 16th, his Collection was at $14,256.71, and, following the loss to the Grizzlies forcing an early exit for the Warriors, Curry’s Collection ended the season at $12,840.68.

What This Means

These are three prime examples of the impact playoff performance can have on card prices. At the end of the day, it makes sense - these are the best players in the world playing on the biggest stage.

Of course, it is not as black and white as a few examples can make it seem. Trae Young, despite a breakout playoff run last year, did not see such linear results.

However, the playoffs do represent a worthy time to take advantage of increased coverage and excitement by looking to add players you believe into your collection.

So, who has the most to gain during these playoffs?

Players With The Most To Gain

Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker

Booker once again makes a deserved appearance here. It’s been another incredible season for Booker, as he continues to develop his game.

Meanwhile, the Suns finished a dominant season at 64-18. It’s rare territory once you get over the 60-win hump. The Suns have been simply remarkable, and enter the playoffs as the odds on favorites at +275. The next closest team is the Bucks at +550.

In seeing how his performance impacted his Collection last playoffs, it’s hard not to get excited about its potential during the playoffs this year. His Collection still hasn’t gotten back to its peak of last playoffs.

What might an NBA championship do for that?

Chris Paul

Chris Paul is undoubtedly one of the best Point Guards to ever do it. That much is not debatable.

Adding a championship to his resume would officially cement his legacy. Plus, there is nobody in the league more deserving of it than him.

Before the playoffs last year, his Collection was at $3,362.90. By the end of the playoffs, his Collection was at $7,365.64.

A championship would do wonders for the “Point God’s” cards as a whole.

Jayson Tatum

Tatum has been phenomenal this year, particularly in the second half of the season.

He’s firmly placed himself in the MVP conversation, becoming a force to be reckoned with in the league. He’ll be in the MVP conversation for years to come.

The Celtics, too, have taken a major step forward this year. With the East seemingly wide open, the Celtics appear to have just as good a chance as anyone to make a run to the finals.

We saw how a run to the finals impacted Booker's collection last season. Could that be Tatum this year?

James Harden

Harden has been around the block the last couple of years, and it hasn’t been too kind to him. In fact, the playoffs as a whole have not been too kind to him, as his struggles are pretty well documented.

However, he may have just as good a chance as ever to reverse that this season. He and Joel Embiid could prove to be an unstoppable duo in a wide-open Eastern Conference.

A run to the finals would do wonders for Harden’s legacy - both on the court and on the cardboard.

Wrapping It All Up

So, which players do you think have the most to gain during these playoffs? It’s pretty rare to see major upsets during the NBA playoffs. Even the Suns' run to the finals last season is less surprising looking back than it was in the moment.

Ultimately, the lights shine the brightest and the best players are there in the playoffs. Therefore, collectors have an opportunity to show off their knowledge come playoff time.