Zion Williamson Cards Hit All-Time Lows, Collectors Start to Lose Hope

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Card collectors have invested tens of million of dollars in Zion Williamson. But with another bust of a season — hampered by more injuries — Zion's cards are now at all-time lows.

While the two-time All-Star has shown plenty of the All-NBA talent he was touted to have when he entered the league in 2019, the constant injuries, weight problems and perceived lack of effort have left prognosticators and collectors skeptical about his long-term sustainability.

“While there will be some investors and collectors who try to buy low on Zion cards this offseason in hopes for a resurgence next season, many seem to be resigned to the fact that Zion may always struggle to stay healthy and his cards will forever be high-risk investments with great downside potential," said Sports Card Investor founder Geoff Wilson.

And there are a ton of these fatalistic investors. Over the last four years, no active athlete's cards have had more submissions to PSA, the hobby's No. 1 card grading company.

Zion is the fifth-most graded athlete all-time at PSA, with more than 380,000 cards graded to date. Only Michael Jordan (1.1M), Ken Griffey Jr. (636K), LeBron James (547K) and Kobe Bryant (475K) have more, according to grading tracker Gem Rate.

The prices on those graded Zion cards topped out at just under $600K for a National Treasures rookie patch auto with a BGS 9.5 grade that sold in Feb. 2022.

That card is now worth at least 40% less, according to industry experts.

And that's roughly true about his cards across the board. Stats from Sports Card Investor’s Market Movers reveal that Zion’s coveted 2019 Prizm Silver in a PSA 10 sits at $610 today, down close to 70% from its season high of $1,850. The card is down close to 90% from its all-time high of $6,500 in Dec. 2020.

Zion's 2019 Prizm Base in PSA 10 went from its all-time peak of about $1,000 in Dec. 2020 to $260 at the start of the 2022-23 NBA season. Now? That card is worth $70.

That Zion base Prizm is the the 11th-most graded card of all time at PSA and the 2nd-most graded basketball card. Because of its relatively high gem rate, it also has the second-most PSA 10s of any card ever, only behind a 2020 Pokemon Charizard.

Gem Rate says that PSA has graded an astounding 41,819 of these cards, with 54.3% of them getting a perfect rating. Not exactly a scarce quantity.

Zion is the perfect personification of the junk slab era, where massive quantities of cards are made to match interest that's akin to the junk wax era thirty years before. For those that collect cards in these higher quantities, there's a distinct possibility demand never recovers due to this inflated supply, even if Williamson reaches some of his lofty expectations.

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