2016 NBA All Star Spotlights - Kawhi Leonard
Our second NBA All Star card spotlight blog from Tom is all about Kawhi - let's get in to it!
There are two words Pacers fans hate to hear and those words are 'Kawhi Leonard'. In the 2011 NBA Draft the Pacers traded him away for George Hill in what can be billed as one of the biggest steals in Draft history. We can only imagine what impact Leonard would have had on the Pacers outfit with the likes of Paul George, David West and Roy Hibbert dominating the Eastern Conference at the time.
In total Leonard has 26 licensed Rookie Cards as Panini sought to make the most of the double rookie class. Because of this there is a Leonard Rookie for all tastes including the low-end 2012-13 Panini Prizm, Hoops and Innovation Rookie Cards, the mid-level 2012-13 Panini Absolute, Contenders and Threads Rookie Autographs and for the high rollers there is the 2012-13 Panini Immaculate Rookie Patch Autograph /99 and the highly coveted 2012-13 National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph /199. Kawhi’s rookie season was impressive as he won the SF starting position with the trade of Richard Jefferson to the Warriors. Leonard was named in 2012 All-Rookie First Team after finishing fourth in Rookie of the Year voting.
In 2014-15 Leonard backed up his previous two stellar seasons by averaging 16.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.5 assists as he collected his first Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) Award, becoming the third player in NBA history to collect DPOY and NBA Finals MVP Awards behind Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan.
Sold $1,600 5/01/16 Sold $787 20/12/15 Sold $500 7/12/15
Kawhi’s 2015-16 performance has not disappointed and his star continues to rise with his maiden All-Star selection. Given Leonard’s domination this season MVP talk and the possibility of the Spurs returning to the Finals it's clear that his hobby level still has plenty of room to move upwards. Whilst Leonard’s cards have increased in value in the past he is still a value for money option. Add an All-Star, Season, second Finals MVP or second ring to the Kawhi Leonard trophy cabinet and his stocks will start to reflect the quality that he brings to the Spurs. In the meantime Kawhi will continue to follow the Spurs way and remain the silent assassin, ready to dominate the post-season and propel himself into the upper echelons of the hobby.
Sold $758 26/1/16 Sold $400 21/12/15 Sold $215.50 25/1016
Kawhi Leonard will be the face of the Spurs for many seasons but his true value will not be realised until the supporting cast of Duncan, Ginobili, Parker and Popovich depart. With the expert nature of the Spurs recruiting team, Spurs fans are not concerned about the departure of the biggest names; they know the Spurs always find a way to be in contention.
For the mid-high end collector there's potential for Kawhi’s cards in the future as long as he continues to succeed. The best advice would be to invest in Kawhi’s stocks now while his Rookie Autographs can still be collected for less than $50. The budget conscious Kawhi collector has little competition with a range of affordable Rookie Cards, Refractors and Jersey Cards on the market. The high-end market for Leonard cards appears oversaturated as many collectors are looking for quality over quantity.
There is no denying Kawhi Leonard truly belongs as a top ten player in the league and hopefully he will begin to experience the higher end hobby love that his talent deserves.