Basketball collectors love pure scorers, and they've proven it by snatching up rookie cards of players from Michael Jordan all the way to Kevin Durant. Though the rookie class of 2008-09 is deep and multi-talented, the athlete who best fits the scorer profile is Memphis Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo.
You could say that Mayo was groomed to be a star from an early age. He received media attention while he was an underclassman in high school and had prep games broadcast on national TV.
He also got into some trouble off the court, so it was widely expected that he would play just one season at USC before taking his game to the NBA. His lone season of college ball disappointed some scouts, but his stock rose in workouts and camps leading up to the 2008 NBA Draft, and he was chosen third overall by Minnesota.
Mayo never suited up for the Timberwolves though, as he became part of a multi-player deal that sent him to a Memphis team desperately in need of scoring. He took virtually no time to acclimate to life in the NBA, recording his first 30-point outing in just his seventh game, and he's become the Grizzlies' number one option on many nights.
Memphis hasn't proven itself as a hot market for basketball collectors, but Mayo's game may be dynamic enough to help change that. Barring the rise of a late bloomer, expect to see Mayo vying with Chicago's Derrick Rose for the honor of being the most collected player in the 2008-09 NBA rookie class for years to come.
2008-09 O.J. Mayo Rookie Cards
- Bowman # 113
- Bowman Chrome # 113
- Fleer # 203
- Hot Prospects # 139 - autographed jersey card #'d to 199
- SkyBox # 203
- SP Authentic # 127 - autographed jersey card #'d to 299
- SP Rookie Threads # 97 - autographed jersey card #'d to 399
- SPx # 113 - autographed jersey card #'d to 99
- SPx # 123 - autographed jersey card #'d to 99
- Topps # 198
- Topps Chrome # 183
- Topps Co-Signers # 103 - #'d to 2008
- Topps Hardwood # 103
- Topps Tip-Off # 113
- Topps Treasury # 103
- Upper Deck # 261
- Upper Deck MVP # 203