The NBA lockout has caused a number of issues with fans of the NBA, people who work for these professional teams, the players themselves, but also with trading card companies.
Panini America, the exclusive licensee of NBA trading cards, has not made any NBA licensed trading cards this season because of the lockout and will not create any products during the lockout. There does not appear to be any NBA trading cards as long as there is no NBA season. Definitely a bummer as there will be some great rookies to watch in their first season like Jimmer Fredette (exclusive Upper Deck signer), Derrick Williams (exclusive Panini signer), and Kemba Walker.
Since Panini will not be creating cards, what will happen to rookie cards of these future stars of the NBA?
2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic basketball released just last week and features some of the future stars in their product, which is fully licensed by the NCAA. You can find your autographed rookies of future stars like Jimmer Fredette, Nolan Smith, or the Morris twins.
But if there is no NBA season, how will the collectibility of these rookies be affected? With no season these rookies won’t get any exposure and won’t get to debut until next year with another class of rookies coming from the college ranks.
Will these Upper Deck cards be considered “true rookies” still or will they be marked as a “XRC” by a place like Beckett. Will the values of these rookie autographs drop or will they out gain next year’s products as they were produced first?
I guess time will tell, but I can see either occurrence having a legitimate chance of happening. My guess is that they are considered a “XRC” and really don’t have much of a rise in value nor a drop after the prices have been established. But they could possibly jump up in value as well, especially if one of the rookies in that product becomes a superstar.
We’ll find out if this NBA lockout ever ends.