Impact of Gasol Trade
With Pau Gasol moving to the Lakers, we can expect some movement in at least a couple of players' hobby stature. In Memphis, Rudy Gay had already begun to emerge as the star there this season, averaging a team-high 19.7 ppg; about 9 ppg more than when he was a rookie last year. He's improved in all of his shooting%'s, and also leads the team in steals (1.48 spg). Gay's 06-07 SPx Auto/Jsy RC #'d 1199 averaged $33.25 TAC in Jan, up from $28.30 in Dec. His SP Authentic Auto RC #'d 299 experienced an even bigger jump, going from $30.07 in Dec to $41.25 in Jan. If you don't mind spending triple digits, his Exquisite Collection Auto/Patch #'d 99 has been selling for around $300 for the past couple of months. I like his unique Chronology Letter Patch Auto RC #'d 99, which has been selling in the $45-65 range over the past month.
The trade also opens up the opportunity for Darko Milicic to finally get a REAL full-time starting role, with the minutes to go with it. After being drafted in the #2 spot after Lebron James in '03, Milicic has received increasing, but limited time on the floor. In his last two games, where he played 40 & 36 minutes per, he posted 14 pts, 16 reb & 5 blk and 12 pts, 12 reb & 2 blk, respectively. His 03-04 SPx Auto/Jsy RC #'d 750 has been hovering around $15-17 TAC over the past two months. His SP Authentic Auto RC #'d 500 could be found for around $20. Expect to dish out $300+ for his Exquisite Collection Auto/Patch #'d 99. Hobby attention should start to increase for Milicic's key rookie issues, as he becomes more of a contributor to this young, up-and-coming Grizzlies line-up.
As for Gasol himself, he isn't one of the players that I watch, so I don't know what the market was like for his rookies before the trade. I do know that there aren't too many of his cards on auction, and that, if I'm not mistaken, he doesn't have any rookie-year Auto's. According to Beckett, his book values are very high, but as we all know, that doesn't necessarily reflect the actual market. I'm sure that playing for the Lakers will inherently raise collectors' awareness level of Gasol, which should in turn raise his values. It's just a question of by how much those values will be affected, which should be driven by his performance.
I'm still shocked about Andrew Bynum's values. He goes down with injury and isn't expected to return for 8 weeks, and sales prices of his key rookies skyrocket! So far in February, there doesn't seem to be any slowdown. I saw one of his 05-06 SP Authentic Auto RC's #'d 1299 sell for $103.95 TAC on 2/2 (the highest sale that I saw in Jan was for $79 on 1/17). Just goes to show the high level of confidence collectors have in Bynum's future.