Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Top NBA Scorers Not in the Hall of Fame – One-Sheet Collections

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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’s focus is on the highest-scoring players in NBA history who are eligible for Hall of Fame induction but not currently enshrined.

Tom Chambers and Antawn Jamison are the only members of the 20,000-point club currently on the outside looking in among players who have already appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot at least one, and they headline this nine-card collection.

1986-87 Fleer #15 Tom Chambers RC ($20)

Points: 20,049 (49th all-time)

A four-time All-Star with the Sonics and Suns, Chambers averaged 18.1 points and 6.1 rebounds over the course of a 16-year career. The 6’10” forward averaged more than 20 points in a season five times, including a career-high 27.2 points during the 1989-90 season to rank fourth in the league.

His only Rookie Card is part of the loaded 1986-87 Fleer set and can sometimes be lost in the shuffle of a checklist loaded with Hall of Fame rookies.

Buy on:

1998-99 Topps Chrome Refractors #143 Antawn Jamison ($20)

Points: 20,042 (50th all-time)

The No. 4 overall pick in the 1998 draft after a standout collegiate career playing alongside Vince Carter at North Carolina, Jamison went from 9.6 to 19.6 to 24.9 points per game during his first three seasons in the NBA playing with the Warriors. He was a two-time All-Star during his time with the Wizards and averaged 18.5 points in 16 seasons.

There are a wide variety of Rookie Card options for the 1998 lottery pick and a range of price points, and his Topps Chrome Refractor is a solid bargain at $20.

Buy on:

1990-91 Fleer #159 Clifford Robinson RC ($1)

Points: 19,591 (53rd all-time)

One of the best second-round picks in NBA history, Robinson was ahead of the curve as a 6’10” forward who could shoot from the perimeter and guard a variety of different positions. He made one All-Star team and earned All-Defensive honors twice, peaking with three straight seasons over 20 points per game during his time with the Blazers.

His three Rookie Cards came at the peak of mass production and can all be scooped up for $1 or less, with his 1990-91 Fleer rookie the most valuable of the bunch.

Buy on:

1978-79 Topps #10 Walter Davis RC ($8)

Points: 19,521 (54th all-time)

Chosen No. 5 overall in the 1977 NBA draft after four standout seasons at North Carolina, Davis burst onto the scene with the Suns during the 1977-78 season to win Rookie of the Year honors with 24.2 points per game. He poured in 20.5 points per game in 11 seasons with the Suns before closing out his career with the Nuggets and Blazers.

His 1978-79 Topps rookie trails only Bernard King ($30) and Dennis Johnson ($25) as the most valuable Rookie Card on the checklist.

Buy on:

1986-87 Fleer #20 Terry Cummings RC ($15)

Points: 19,460 (57th all-time)

Cummings averaged 21.3 points and 8.7 rebounds during the first 10 seasons of his NBA career with the Clippers, Bucks and Spurs before suffering a serious knee injury prior to the 1992-93 season. He played eight more seasons after the injury, but in a far more limited role, averaging 7.5 points and mostly coming off the bench.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 1982 draft did not have a Rookie Card until the 1986-87 Fleer Basketball where his is among the more affordable rookies among players who had a productive NBA career. 

Buy on:

1986-87 Fleer #51 Eddie Johnson RC ($10)

Points: 19,202 (60th all-time)

Johnson spent the bulk of his career as a high-scoring sixth man, suiting up for six different teams over the course of his 17-year career. He averaged more than 20 points twice during his time with the Kings and once with the Suns when he tallied 21.5 points per game during the 1988-89 season to win Sixth Man of the Year honors.

He is the third player from this list with his Rookie Card in the 1986-87 Fleer set, and his is the most affordable of the three.

Buy on:

1979-80 Topps #44 Reggie Theus RC ($3)

Points: 19,015 (62nd all-time)

Theus averaged 16.3 points as a rookie with the Bulls during the 1978-79 season and was a steady scorer throughout his 13 seasons in the NBA. Also a good facilitator as a 6’7″ shooting guard, he averaged 18.5 points and 6.3 assists in his career. He is currently the head coach and athletic director at Bethune-Cookman.

The 1979-80 Topps set is thin on notable Rookie Cards, with Theus checking in as the second-most valuable on the checklist behind Alex English ($30).

Buy on:

1987-88 Fleer #33 Dale Ellis RC ($2.50)

Points: 19,004 (63rd all-time)

After averaging a modest 8.2 points during his first three seasons in the NBA, Ellis was traded to the Sonics where he promptly emerged as one of the top scorers in the league. He poured in 24.9 points per game in his first season in Seattle to win Most Improved Player honors and went on to average 20.9 points in parts of seven seasons with the Sonics.

The 1987-88 Fleer checklist does not have quite as many heavy hitters as the previous year in terms of Rookie Cards, with Otis Thorpe, A.C. Green, Ron Harper and Detlef Schrempf as the most valuable of the bunch.

Buy on:

1999-00 SPx #100 Jason Terry AU/2500 RC ($8)

Points: 18,881 (69th all-time)

Terry was the starting point guard for the Hawks and Mavericks early in his career before transitioning into a bench role where he was a perennial Sixth Man of the Year candidate. Aside from his spot on the all-time scoring list he also ranks in the top 100 in steals (1,603, 35th), assists (5,415, 56th) and three-pointers made (2,282, 7th).

Despite a rock solid 19-year career that saw him still playing at the age of 40 during the 2017-18 season, his Rookie Cards are all extremely affordable, including the above auto that is numbered to 2,500 with a high book value under $10.

Buy on:

Total: $87.50

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