Monday, March 27, 2023

One-Sheet Collections: Forgotten NBA Rookie of the Year Winners

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The One-Sheet Collections idea is a simple concept with infinite possibilities. Take a single nine-pocket sheet and a reasonable $100 budget, and build a nine-card collection with a unifying theme.

This week my focus was on players who you might not remember won Rookie of the Year honors in their NBA debut.

It’s a mix of players who peaked early but never took the next step to stardom, players who saw their career shortened due to injury, and guys who were the standout in a relatively weak draft class.

1987-88 Fleer #85 Chuck Person RC ($2.50)

Season: 1986-87

Person averaged 18.8 points and 8.3 rebounds with the Pacers during the 1986-87 season after going No. 4 overall in the 1986 draft. His draft class also included Dennis Rodman, Mark Price, Jeff Hornacek, Ron Harper and Brad Daugherty.

Like many players who debuted in the 1980s, he only has one Rookie Card.

1997-98 SkyBox Premium Autographics #25 Derrick Coleman ($15)

Season: 1990-91

Coleman was an All-American during his senior season at Syracuse before going No. 1 overall in the 1990 draft to a Nets team coming off a 17-win season. He averaged 18.4 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists to edge out Lionel Simmons (Kings) for Rookie of the Year honors in a draft class that also included Gary Payton.

He has three different Rookie Cards in 1990-91 products that can all be found for around $1, so I’ve instead opted for his first certified autograph card from the iconic SkyBox Autographics set, which is still not tooexpensive.

1995-96 Finest #117 Damon Stoudamire RC ($5)

Season: 1995-96

In a draft class that included future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett and All-Stars Rasheed Wallace, Michael Finley, Antonio McDyess and Jerry Stackhouse, it was the undersized Stoudamire who took home the Rookie of the Year award. The 5’10” point guard averaged 19.0 points and 9.3 assists for a Raptors team in just its third year of existence.

“Mighty Mouse” has 15 different Rookie Cards scattered across 1995-96 products, with the most valuable of the bunch being his Finest rookie with a modest $5 price tag.

2000-01 Fleer Showcase #95 Mike Miller RC ($12)

Season: 2000-01

Miller led the Florida Gators to the 2000 national title game as a sophomore before declaring for the NBA draft and going No. 5 overall to the Magic. He averaged 11.9 points and shot 40.7 percent from beyond the arc. That was enough to win Rookie of the Year over No. 1 pick Kenyon Martin in a weak rookie class.

The sharp-shooter has 44 different Rookie Cards.

2004-05 Finest #167 Emeka Okafor AU RC ($10)

Season: 2004-05

Okafor averaged 17.6 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.1 blocks during his junior season at UConn to lead the Huskies to a national title, and his 441 blocks rank 11th in NCAA history. The 6’10” center was the first draft pick for the expansion Charlotte Bobcats, and he led the team in scoring (15.1 PPG) and rebounding (10.9 RPG) as a rookie to win Rookie of the Year over Ben Gordon, Dwight Howard and Andre Igoudala.

He has a wide range of Rookie Cards, and even the high-end autographed options are affordable, especially compared to their peak values.

2006-07 SP Game Used #206 Brandon Roy RC ($8)

Season: 2006-07

The 2006 draft was one of the weakest in NBA history, but the Trail Blazers were big winners as they selected Roy with the No. 6 overall pick and acquired the draft rights to LaMarcus Aldridge in a draft night swap with the Bulls. Roy led all rookies in scoring (16.8 PPG) and assists (4.0 APG) and looked like a star in the making before injuries derailed his career.

Despite his “what if?” career, Roy still has a solid hobby following, and he has 21 different numbered Rookie Cards among 34 total rookies. 

2009-10 Absolute Memorabilia #166 Tyreke Evans JSY AU RC ($12)

Season: 2009-10

Evans averaged 17.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.1 steals as a one-and-done freshman at Memphis. The Kings selected him No. 4 overall in the 2009 draft and gave him the keys to the offense. He led the team in scoring (20.1 PPG) and assists (5.8 APG), and that was enough to edge out Steph Curry for the Rookie of the Year trophy.

His rookie year ended up being his peak and his card values are now extremely affordable across the board.

2013-14 Court Kings #114 Michael Carter-Williams RC ($2)

Season: 2013-14

Carter-Williams was the No. 11 pick in the 2013 draft, and he immediately stepped into the starting point guard role on the 76ers. The 6’5″ guard averaged 16.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.3 assists to win Rookie of the Year over Victor Oladipo. The following year he was traded to the Bucks in a three-team deal, and his rookie season ended up being the best of his career.

Most of his Rookie Cards can now be found for a couple bucks.

2016-17 Panini Prizm #17 Malcolm Brogdon RC ($25)

Season: 2016-17

Taken with the 36th pick in the 2016 draft, Brogdon was the first second-round pick since 1965 to win Rookie of the Year honors. This followed an All-American senior season at the University of Virginia. He played his way into a starting role with the Bucks as a rookie and averaged 10.2 points and 4.2 assists to win Rookie of the Year over the 76ers duo of Dario Saric and Joel Embiid.

His Panini Prizm rookie trails only Dejounte Murray ($60), Jamal Murray ($40), Jaylen Brown ($30) and Domantas Sabonis ($30) in book value among rookies on the 2016-17 checklist.

Total: $91.50

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