Player Focus: Kobe Bryant & Tyrus Thomas
This post is in response to a comment left by a fellow collector. First I'd like to say congrats on your great Bowman Sig Barbosa buy. That's a terrific price for that card.
Regarding Kobe, I think that his cards are very good investments. Even though his Lakers are out of the playoffs, and not at the same level as the Suns & Spurs (for now), he is still the best player in the game. Over the past 15 years there have been several players who have been dubbed the "heir apparent" (i.e. Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, etc...), but Kobe has emerged as the clear choice. He's got the work ethic, leadership skills, and of course, the talent. All the Lakers need now are a few more years of experience (for their younger players) and a decent point guard. Because Kobe has 3 autograph eras ("Kobe Bryant", "Kobe 8" & "Kobe"), the most coveted is his full signature, which was only featured in the 96 Press Pass set. It'll probably set you back between $200 to $300, but it is by far his rarest sig variation (a BGS 9 just sold on 5/6 for $276.50, incl s&h). I personally don't own any of his full sig autos, but sure wish I did! His Topps Chrome RC has dropped in price by 20% this month, averaging around $136. His 2nd & 3rd best RC's, his E-X2000 & Finest, moved up in price, averaging around $31 & $23.50 respectively (all prices that I write about include s&h costs).
I haven't been following Tyrus Thomas as much as other players, but I do think that he obviously has potential. I read a few articles that compared him to LaMarcus Aldridge during the regular season. Even though Aldridge got more playing time, Thomas is getting world of experience right now in the playoffs, that Aldridge is not. I think that he has a great opportunity to grow with fellow youngsters like Luol Deng & Ben Gordon, and learn from veterans like Ben Wallace, who have been there and won it all. I didn't like the statement that he made right before the dunk contest though, about how he's it it to win the money. Guess that could just be youth & inexperience talking. To answer your question, yes, I do think that all 3 of these players that you mentioned are good investments, as long as you pay the right prices for them.
Good luck with your collecting, and thanks for the comments!