Heat Three-Peat or Timmy's Revenge? Collecting Guide to 2014 NBA Finals

Heat Three-Peat or Timmy’s Revenge? Collecting Guide to 2014 NBA Finals

The NBA Finals marks the end of the 2013-14 basketball season. Down to the final two teams, everything will be under a microscope. Collectors will be paying extra attention to some key names as a big performance can lead to both short-term and long-term gains. Rookie cards tend to be the main route that collectors take in building their collections, and we look at the top options for the players that are most likely to benefit from a win.

As the final leg of the 2014 NBA Playoffs gets underway, the championship series has a familiar feel to it. Just last season, the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs squared off for the 2013 title. The Spurs appeared to have it wrapped up in game six, but some missed free throws and a last-second shot from Ray Allen shifted the series and the Heat ended up winning in seven games.

The two teams are back again in 2014 and both appear capable of going home with the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Although many of the players are household names, the series will likely be influenced by a few less-known or less-heralded players rising to the occasion. The following guide takes a collecting look at five key players from each team and the wild card options that could help sway the series.

2014 Miami Heat NBA Finals Collecting Guide

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LeBron James

Even on a team filled with All-Stars, it's LBJ and everyone else. "King James" is already one of the greatest players in NBA history. Win or lose, his card values will remain strong. Many collectors have likely wondered if he can eventually supplant Michael Jordan in the collecting world. While it is hard to see that ever happening, James is basically at the midway point in his career and has plenty of basketball left in him. His overall hobby legacy will be decided by what he does in his thirties. View our complete rookie card guide for LeBron James here.

2003 04 Upper Deck Exquisite Exquisite Rookie Patch LeBron James  99 216x300 Image

Top LeBron James Rookie Cards

Dwyane Wade

Injuries and diminishing skills have caught up to Dwyane Wade. However, the decreased workload in the regular season has Wade poised for a bigger role this time, as evidenced by his success in the postseason thus far. Because his best days are behind him and he will likely never be the main face on his team again, huge gains are unlikely for Wade, even with another title. View our complete rookie card guide for Dwyane Wade here.

2003 04 SP Authentic Autograph RC Dwyane Wade 212x300 Image

Top Dwyane Wade Rookie Cards

Ray Allen

Technically a backup to Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen actually logged more minutes in the regular season and has continued to live up to his reputation for hitting big shots. Like Wade, his best days are over, but Allen can boost his collecting legacy with another big series. Closing in on 40, Ray Allen's career is coming to an end and a third title would be a fantastic sendoff. View our complete rookie card guide for Ray Allen here.

1996 97 Topps Chrome 217 Ray Allen RC 216x300 Image

Top Ray Allen Rookie Cards

Chris Bosh

It is tough for a 6'10" All-Star athlete to be overlooked, but Chris Bosh has a tendency to float under the radar, especially in the hobby. His time in Miami has been both a blessing and a curse for his cardboard career. While he is clearly a winner and has enjoyed a boost in popularity, Bosh is the third or forth choice on the team among collectors. Entering his prime years, it remains to be seen if Miami will keep "the Big Three" intact. Regardless, big men are largely undervalued by the hobby, and that continues with Bosh. View our complete rookie card guide for Chris Bosh here.

2003 04 Ultimate Collection Chris Bosh 219x300 Image

Top Chris Bosh Rookie Cards

Mario Chalmers

With LeBron James and Dwyane Wade handling the ball, the point guard position is not as vital for the Heat. While Mario Chalmers has emerged as the starter over Norris Cole, he is mostly an afterthought at this point. His cards are cheap and will likely remain that way.

2008 09 UD Black Mario Chalmers RC 69 Autographed Jersey  Image

Top Mario Chalmers Rookie Cards

Miami Heat Wild Cards

The Heat roster is top-heavy with elite talent and filled out with many seasoned veterans. Chris Andersen has always had a small, but devoted, hobby following. This is mainly because of his outlandish look and intense play, like a poor man's Dennis Rodman. Although he does not hold a candle to "the Worm" on the statistical front, "Birdman" can make plays. Despite limited remaining athletic ability, Shane Battier has stayed relevant with his basketball smarts and three point shooting. The Duke alum logged strong minutes in the regular season and could make some noise in the NBA Finals.

A few players are less likely to see any noticeable hobby bump, but could make a difference for the Heat. Rashard Lewis was left for dead, but has seen a resurgence in the last few games. It is hard to make assumptions on such a small sample size, but Lewis is another name to keep an eye on. Greg Oden has not played much in his disappointing career, but the former number one overall pick has plenty of cards out there and collectors would love a shot to unload some of them. One of the few youthful contributors, Norris Cole has seen his stock drop. If Mario Chalmers falters, Cole might earn more minutes and a shot at contributing to another title.

2014 San Antonio Spurs NBA Finals Collecting Guide

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Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan just keeps going. Too old. Too boring. Too much Tim Duncan. It took many years, but Duncan finally won over the hobby and the future Hall of Fame player would love to avenge the loss last year and add a fifth title to his résumé. His current values leave plenty of room for growth and Tim Duncan cards will surge if the Spurs take the 2014 championship. View our complete rookie card guide for Tim Duncan here.

1997 98 Topps Chrome Tim Duncan RC 115 212x300 Image

Top Tim Duncan Rookie Cards

Tony Parker

Another player who suffers from the "boring" reputation of the Spurs, Tony Parker is the perfect compliment to Tim Duncan. Injuries are always a concern for the aging star and an ineffective Parker would spell certain doom for San Antonio. Because he will never reach that superstar level, his values have a ceiling, but a win would give his cards a nice bump. View our complete rookie card guide for Tony Parker here.

2001 02 SP Authentic Tony Parker RC 138 Autograph 700 Image

Top Tony Parker Rookie Cards

Kawhi Leonard

After his stellar postseason performance in 2013, fans and collectors were expecting Kawhi Leonard to take the next step in his transformation. Despite totaling the most starts in his young career, Leonard's average minutes dropped and his stats barely moved. While he did not regress, Kawhi Leonard remained stagnant, hampered by the trio of seasoned stars that remain the focus of the team. Eventually the Spurs will be his team, but they still rely on his youthful exuberance and strong defense and will need "Playoff Kawhi" to take the stage in the NBA Finals. View our complete rookie card guide for Kawhi Leonard here.

2012 13 Panini Immaculate Rookie Patch Autograph 112 Kawhi Leonard 220x300 Image

Top Kawhi Leonard Rookie Cards

Manu Ginóbili

Father Time has repeatedly come for Manu Ginóbili, but the feisty Argentine refuses to give up the fight. Incredibly inconsistent at times, Ginóbili is not technically the starter at shooting guard. However, he is normally the first off the bench and still gets about the same amount of court time as Danny Green. While the Spurs will need a good performance from Ginóbili to take the series, it is unlikely that his card values will see any long-term benefits.

2002 03 Upper Deck Inspirations Manu Ginóbili RC 138 Autograph w Tony Parker Image

Top Manu Ginóbili Rookie Cards

Danny Green

Normally the starter at shooting guard, Danny Green has been the same basic player the past three seasons. He only averages around ten points per game but his three point shooting makes him a threat and he converted an NBA-record 27 threes in the 2013 Finals against the Heat. Still on the younger side, the former UNC player is hardly on the collecting radar, but he is exciting to watch.

2009 10 Panini National Treasures Danny Green RC 197 211x300 Image

Top Danny Green Rookie Cards

San Antonio Spurs Wild Cards

The names are not as familiar as the Heat's bench, but the Spurs have several serviceable players who could make a noticeable difference. Tiago Splitter is a prototypical Spur. Nearly seven feet tall, the Brazilian is productive, but not very flashy. Patty Mills is having a strong year and could have a chance to shine if Tony Parker is hampered by injuries. Boris Diaw has proven to be an incredible mismatch on both ends of the court for the Spurs in the playoffs and could make a huge impact against Miami. Rounding out the international roster, Marco Belinelli has enjoyed one of the best statistical seasons in his career and will be counted on to provide bench scoring.

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2003-04 Mystique Rare Finds Jerseys Tim Duncan Shaquille O'Neal #d 248 250
$20.00
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Lebron James 2009-10 Panini Rookies & Stars Jersey 237 250
$10.00
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B08123 2006-07 Upper Deck Reserve UD Game Jersey #LBJ LeBron James Miami heat
$22.99
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LEBRON JAMES UPPER DECK MVP ROOKIE 2003
$10.00
3110257504954040 1 Image
DWYANE WADE UPPER DECK PRO SIGS 2004
$10.00
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Lebron James 2003-04 Upper Deck Winter League Card LBNPL03 (Rookie)
$50.00
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2012-13 Totally Certified Basketball (RED) LEBRON JAMES JERSEY CARD SP !!!
$14.99
2615228058794040 1 Image
2003-04 ALL SPORT MAGAZINE LEBRON JAMES CAVALIERS ROOKIE #1 1750 (ref 2357)
$7.95
1312524569944040 1 Image
2012-13 Prestige Basketball LeBron James
$5.00
1912632041114040 1 Image
2010-11 ALL STAR DWYANE WADE,2013-14 GREEN PRIZM TONY WROTEN,KARL MALONE
$6.77
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2012-13 Elite Tim Duncan Prime Patch 25 + Tiago Splitter Jersey 299 Crusade Sp
$30.00
2307183023434040 1 Image
2005-06 Upper Deck Hardcourt Materials Jersey LeBron James
$30.00
3908778886154040 1 Image
2006 Upper Deck National VIP #NBA-2 LeBron James MINT
$6.99
2215055006154040 1 Image
2003-04 UPPER DECK ROOKIE "LeBron's Diary" LEBRON JAMES - SUPER RARE - SGC 100
$42.00
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2003-04 Topps #221 Lebron James Rookie Card BGS Becket Graded 8.5
$24.00
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2004-05 04-05 Topps Chrome BLACK REFRACTOR #68 Dwyane Wade 399 BGS 9.5 HEAT
$99.99
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Trey Treutel

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Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. As an adult, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim, and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute.

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