The hype around Zion Williamson in the trading card community is real. Pic: Getty Images/AFP
The hype around Zion Williamson in the trading card community is real. Pic: Getty Images/AFP

Staggering figure for signed Zion card

FORGET Michael Jordan and LeBron James, the most hyped rookie in NBA history Zion Williamson is set to take the trading card game into a new stratosphere.

Bids on a card autographed by the New Orleans Pelicans' No.1 draft pick, numbered three of just five in the world, have eclipsed a stunning $140,000.

That's massive money for a player who spent one year at Duke University and is yet to step foot on an NBA floor.

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Grayson White of Cherry Collectables says although there is always the spectre of fake bids driving up the price, the hype around Williamson in the trading card community is real.

"It's not even the key card in the set and it's generated more than 250 bids," White said.

"Trading cards have become a legit stock on eBay now and Panini NBA cards are going to explode in Australia."

Williamson, 19, has signed an exclusive deal with Panini America, meaning his signatures will only be found on its products.

"We're on the cusp of witnessing one of the most historic NBA Draft classes of all time and it's no secret that Zion is a driving force behind that fact. He's a transcendent talent and a must-have presence in all of our NBA and collegiate basketball products for this season and beyond," Panini America CEO Mark Warsop said.

The US$100,000 card ... and rising. (image: ebay.com)
The US$100,000 card ... and rising. (image: ebay.com)

Earlier this year, a Jordan 1997 Green Precious Metal Gems card closed on eBay for more than $500,000.

Aussie collectors are lapping up cards of their compatriots, with Ben Simmons attracting the most interest - even though his signature deal is with Upper Deck, which is not licensed by the NBA to produce cards, instead trading in memorabilia.

A pristine James 2003 Topps Chrome Refractor rookie card sold on eBay in 2017 for a mammoth $37,840.