Meet the Hobby’s Next Blake Griffin: Ricky Rubio
Since the start of the 2010-11 NBA Season, Blake Griffin's cards have gone from being worth their weight in silver to worth their weight in gold. Griffin's card took a brief detour during the 2009-10 NBA Season due to an injury that cost 2009's top pick his entire rookie season. The next silver to gold story may very well be hiding in the same draft class as the Clippers forward.
The NBA Jam-esque Griffin wasn't the only player from the 2009 NBA draft class to take a trading card detour, as the draft's fifth overall pick Ricky Rubio didn't play a single game during the 2009-10 NBA Season and unlike Griffin, the 20-year point guard from Spain will not play a single game in 2010-11 either. Though they play different positions on the court, they could play a similar role in the hobby.
Ricky Rubio has drawn lofty comparisons to one of the sports world's most enduring figures, Pistol Pete Maravich. Pistol Pete was essentially Barry Sanders before Barry Sanders was Barry Sanders. During his 10-year NBA career, Maravich captured the imagination of fans league wide with a seamless combination of highlight reel dribbling, passing and scoring skills.
It's not a matter of "if" Ricky Rubio will become a hobby star, it's a matter of "when". Rubio has a factor on his side that not even Blake Griffin had. Due to the fact that Griffin was the top pick in 2009 draft and a member of the NBA Player's Association , there were more than enough of his cards to go around. Rubio on the other hand has yet to sign a contract with the team that drafted him, the Minnesota Timberwolves. This led to a finite amount of Rubio cards finding their way into 2009-10 products. In the sports card world, finite is the be all, end all.
When Rubio arrives in the NBA, the hype will be huge and the expectations sky high. Whether it be with the Wolves (hopefully) or with another team, Rubio's cards will immediately vault in value due to the "wow" factor he brings to a basketball court. Just like Griffin has captured the imagination of collectors with his highlight reel dunking ability, Rubio could very well do the same with his Pistol Pete skill set.
Below are ten Ricky Rubio cards that could turn from silver into gold much like Griffin's have. The top Rubio card to chase is without a doubt his Exquisite Collection autographs followed by his National Treasures RC. Due to Rubio's under the radar print run, it's a safe bet to assume that even the cheapest of Rubio cards could be worth something in coming years.
- 2009-10 Exquisite Collection #44 Ricky Rubio Auto /225 RC ($200)
- 2009-10 Exquisite Collection #73 Ricky Rubio Auto /225 ($200)
- 2009-10 Playoff National Treasures #200 Ricky Rubio /99 RC ($80)
- 2009-10 Playoff National Treasures Century Signatures #200 Ricky Rubio/ 99($120)
- 2009-10 Timeless Treasures #108 Ricky Rubio AU/ 99 RC ($75)
- 2009-10 Topps Chrome #97 Ricky Rubio /999 RC ($20)
- 2009-10 Greats of the Game Autographs #44 Ricky Rubio ($60)
- 2009-10 SP Game Used Rookie Exclusive Signatures #RERR Ricky Rubio /100 ($50)
- 2009-10 SP Signature Edition Signature Rookies #RRR Ricky Rubio /199 ($50)
- 2009-10 Upper Deck Draft Edition Autographs #11 Ricky Rubio/ 499 ($30)