Team Focus: Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz have been revived from thier string of mediocre seasons, led by Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur & Deron Williams.
It's great to see Boozer back playing so well after some injury problems. This is the Boozer that the Jazz were hoping for when they signed him to his huge contract back in '04. I'm sure they were a little worried when he only played 84 games over his 1st two seasons with them. Now he's possibly the best PF in the West, averaging 22.5 ppg & 11.9 rpg. His RCs were steals up till a couple months ago. Now collectors are again taking interest in him, and betting on a healthy future. It might be a good idea to pick up one of his Auto RCs and hold it for a while. His 02-03 Bowman Sig Auto/Jsy #'d 999 books for a reasonable $30, compared to his Finest Auto #'d 999, SP Authentic Auto #'d 1500, and SPx Auto/Jsy #'d 999 which all book for $40 each.
Mehmet Okur has been improving every season since coming into the NBA. He's a big guy who can shoot (even the 3 - .400 3PT% this season), giving him an added dimension compared to other Centers. I don't think that he'll ever be a hobby "star" (maybe "semistar"), but he is a good support player. From a collectors' standpoint, you probably wouldn't buy his cards unless you were a diehard fan, since resale values wouldn't appreciate much. For those diehard fans, his key RC from 02-03 would be Bowman Sig Auto #'d 999 ($25).
What can I say about Deron Williams that everyone else doesn't already know? He's having a break out season. One of his key Auto RCs though, has dropped in auction performance. His SPx Auto/Jsy RC #'d 750 booked for $60 through the Dec Beckett. Actual online sales for the month of Dec averaged $47.18 (78.6% of BV). Not too bad. But then, when the BV jumped to $75 in the Jan Beckett, sales seemed to go south, averaging just $40.61 (54.1% of BV). I would blame this drop on the team's stumbling earlier in Jan, when they lost 5 out of 6 games (the worst streak they've had this season). Collectors and investors should take advantage of this lull and pick up some of his cards. There are some good deals out there (except maybe not for his Exquisite Coll Auto/Patch RC!). You just have to look. His SP Authentic Auto RC #'d 1299 has been averaging $26.02 in Jan (52% of the $50 BV). If you can find an SPA RC for around $19-22 or an SPx RC for $30-36, I would say go for it. At only 22 years old, Williams could be the next John Stockton for Utah fans.