2016 NBA All Star Spotlights - Kevin Durant
The 3rd in our series of All Star spotlights from Tom, today it's KD!
Kevin Durant’s cards have always been popular among collectors. Taken with the second pick of the 2007 Draft, “KD” quickly rose to prominence on the back of a stellar debut performance against the Nuggets where he scored 18 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Durant’s stunning first impression had a big impact on the hobby with a flood of collectors cornering his market. Durant continued to impress throughout his rookie season and went on to claim the Rookie of the Year award.
Durant has 32 genuine rookie cards, ranging from the low-end Topps and Upper Deck First Edition to the mid-level Bowman Sterling and Topps Chrome onto the high-end Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Rookie Patch Autograph /99 and Upper Deck SP Authentic Rookie Autographed Jersey /299.
Durant quickly became the face of the Supersonics and then in 2008-09 when the team relocated to Oklahoma City he became the indisputable face of the Thunder. With the additions of Russell Westbrook and James Harden, the Thunder finally had the puzzle pieces in place to contend for a championship. Durant would lead the Thunder to the 2012 Finals where they would come up short against Lebron James and the Heat.
Sold $8,865 Sold $825 Sold $700
Durant has reignited his career during the 2015-16 season, making a successful return after an injury-riddled 2014-15 campaign where he missed 55 matches and the Thunder missed the playoffs. Given the severity of Durant’s foot complaints, few thought he would be able to return to his scintillating best and his card prices suffered as a result. As a spokesman of Panini, the company has made Durant a focal point of their products, releasing 781 Durant autos since 2009-10. As a result an oversupply of his cards has driven down prices to their current point. For example, in 2012-13 his lower end autographed cards would sell in the $100-120 range but can now be obtained at about half that. Panini’s overproduction of Durant cards has led many collectors to seek the rarity of his rookie cards made by other manufacturers such as Topps, Fleer and Upper Deck. At this stage this is where the true value lies in the Durant market and this will only increase over time as the rarity of his rookie cards grows and Durant’s star continues to rise.
Sold $795.99 Sold $885.35 Sold $1,130.00
Kevin Durant is an elite player who has the ability to transition the NBA and the hobby itself into a new era. Durant is still young at 27 and is already a 7x NBA All-Star, 5x All-NBA First Team, 4x NBA Scoring Champion, NBA MVP and NBA All-Star MVP. As long as Durant can stay healthy, the sky is the limit in terms of his value within the league and within the hobby.
Like every great NBA player before him, personal awards mean little unless they are accompanied by the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Durant’s legacy and hobby value will not be fully realised unless he can lead his side to the ultimate prize. Free agency looms for at the end of this season and his future value will depend largely on where he signs on to for 2016-17. A move to a big market team such as the Lakers would see his collecting value boom while a move to a team looking to rebuild around Durant would likely result in a drop in his hobby stocks. Whilst the world waits for KD Decision 2.0 to unfold the wise word on the market is to invest heavily in his rookie cards where the true value will remain regardless of his decision.