When it comes to the Dallas Mavericks and the hobby, the only name that comes to mind is Luka Doncic. Rightly so, as the fourth-year guard is easily one of the best players in the NBA and among the privileged few who can wear the league when its current crop of stars have hung up their jerseys. But in light of the All-Star’s recent injury, Jalen Brunson stepped up and carried his team against the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs.
Even with Doncic back, Brunson has already shown why he deserves more attention, both on the pitch and in the market. We take a look below at why his stock can potentially be good, especially in the offseason.
The promising future of Jalen Brunson
There’s no denying that ever since Brunson and Doncic entered the league in 2018, most of the attention has been on the latter. Making an immediate impact on the franchise, the Slovenian guard quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the best players in the NBA and among the hottest stocks in the NBA card market.
Brunson, meanwhile, was mostly ignored during those early years. In his first season in the league, the 6’1″ guard averaged 9.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 21.8 minutes off the bench. That kind of performance continued throughout that second campaign as his All-Star teammate improved and became more popular.
But it will not be the same story in this third year in the NBA. Even with limited minutes, Brunson increased his points per game by becoming more efficient with the ball in his hands. In the 68 games he played in the 2020-21 season, the keeper scored 12.6 points on 52% shooting from the field and 40% from outside the arc while adding 3 .4 rebounds and 3.5 assists. While the numbers aren’t as big as other All-Star guards in the league, the signs of improvement are already visible there.
Of course, this improvement has to lead somewhere. And he did, starting in Brunson’s fourth year in the NBA. In 79 games, including 61 as a starter, the Mavericks guard posted career-best numbers averaging 16.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. But while those numbers look respectable, it was his recent performance against the Jazz in the first round that had everyone in the hobby bragging about their NBA cards.
Over five games, Brunson averaged 28.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists, numbers you wouldn’t expect during the regular season. With Doncic missing the first three games of the series, it stands to reason the Mavs’ offensive plan will run through him. This was evident in Game 2 when the point guard unloaded a career-high 41 points on an unsuspecting Jazz team.
Jalen Brunson went for 41 points against the Jazz and joined Dominique Wilkins and LaMarcus Aldridge in this remarkable feat 💯 pic.twitter.com/ikWDrYRL80
— Mavs Nation (@MavsNationCP) April 19, 2022
In that game, Brunson was connecting 60% of his field goals and reaching the same rate from deep, while adding 8 rebounds, 5 assists and steals in 42 minutes on the field. At the end of the game, the Mavs guard was left with a +15 plus/minus, the highest of any Game 2 player.
Jalen Brunson’s last 3 playoff games:
– 41 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 60% FG
– 24 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists
– 31 points, 5 assists, 55% FG
About to get paid this offseason. 💰 pic.twitter.com/XqRKJltfoI
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) April 22, 2022
His impressive playoff performance will play a big role in securing his future. With his contract expiring soon, there is belief across the league that Brunson will attract plenty of suitors from other teams to be their point guard. If he continues to perform well, his value will soon increase, making him a guy to watch at the start of next season. And if he wins a good contract, especially from a team that is willing to give him important minutes on the pitch, chances are we won’t see the last of this version of Brunson.
The State of Jalen Brunson’s Rookie Cards in the Market
Just a year ago, no one was paying attention to the Jalen Brunson cards on the market. Now, after a few high-scoring games against the Jazz, almost everyone is interested in their stock.
In a three-month chart by Card Ladder, Brunson’s PSA 10 2018 Prizm Silver rookie card went glowing in the given timeframe. Just a few months ago, the value of this card was $87. Now it’s up nearly 200% to $260 on eBay.
What’s more impressive is how it went from $96 a few days ago to its current value of $260. This price increase clearly reflects Brunson’s strong performance against the Jazz over the past few days.
The verdict on Jalen Brunson’s cards
Before investing in Jalen Brunson’s rookie cards, it’s important to keep these two details in mind. For starters, the Mavericks guard isn’t a one-trick pony. For a time, he flew under the radar while steadily improving as a scorer and playmaker for the Dallas Mavericks.
Second, Brunson’s current contract with Dallas is set to expire soon and the guard is expected to have plenty of teams chasing him this offseason. When these two details are taken together, it won’t be a stretch to imagine that Brunson will get more minutes next season in a situation where he can possibly thrive.
If that happens, the verdict on these Jalen Brunson cards would be a tough buy. Of course, it would be better to wait until the off-season for its prices to drop. This will help collectors maximize their investment for next season. Either way, Brunson’s cards look good as they aren’t too expensive, but still have a lot of potential down the road.