How to value NBA Top Shot NFTs

NBA Top Shot
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$30 million in sales over 30-days

In the traditional world of collectibles and memorabilia, basketball cards reached record sales in 2020. More importantly for DappRadar, an upward trend is also occurring in the sales of limited-edition non-fungible token (NFT) NBA highlight video cards as distributed by NBA Top Shot. Over the past-7-days we have observed some collectibles selling for over $100,000.

The NBA, NBPA, and Dapper Labs teamed up to create NBA Top Shot, a new collectible game running on the Flow blockchain. In NBA Top Shot players collect jaw-dropping plays and unforgettable highlights as digital collectibles that fans and players can own forever. 

The restarting of the NBA season triggered an overall surge in the popularity of basketball as a sport and certainly helped to increase attention to NBA TopShot highlights too. Although, the valuation of these NFT highlights is a complicated and complex topic.

Source: Google Trends

Within this overview, we will analyze player awareness, sets, series, and the importance of tiers in the value of a highlight. The utility of the collected highlights is also going to be considered.

Table of contents

  • NBA Top Shot generated $30 million in sales volume over 30 days
  • Well-known players lead the pack
  • Serial numbers play a vital role
  • The importance of series
  • The importance of tiers
  • How sets give uniqueness to the collectible
  • The utility of NBA Top Shots
  • The importance of whale activity
  • The road ahead

$30 million in sales volume (30 days)

NBA Top Shot is a joint venture, started in July 2019, between the National Basketball Association, the NBA Players Association, and Dapper Labs, which is best known as the creator of CryptoKitties.


It didn’t take long for NBA Top Shot to gain traction in the blockchain industry. Recently, the platform surged to the number one position in the NFT sector with some record breaking sales. While CryptoPunks, the very first collection built on blockchain took three years to gather sales of more than $100,000. 

NBA Top Shot attracted buyers quickly and recently Zion Wiliamson and LeBron James highlights sold for $100,000 each.


The value of NBA Top Shot highlights can be very diverse as each highlight has its own attributes. The most important attributes in terms of value are player awareness, teams, series, type of tiers, and sets. 

Well-known players lead

As noted above, the corresponding increase in the popularity of basketball as a sport has certainly helped NBA Top Shot to grow. With the league restarting and being flooded with young talent, like for example Zion Williamson and Luka Doncic, fans are exhibiting a new surge of interest in the game.

Undoubtedly, the popularity of the player plays an important role in pricing an NBA Top Shot collectible. For instance, according to, a popular media outlet covering the NBA, the top three players to watch in 2021 are LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and  Kevin Durant. 

All of these players are also in top positions for the most valuable listings on NBA Top Shot. For instance, LeBron James’ legendary moment floor listing price is $79,999. While the highlight of Giannis Antetokounmpo is priced at $74,000 and Kevin Durant’s is $69,999.

NBA Top Shot

In general, there are two key trends spotted in terms of player awareness. The first, and most important is the best performing basketball players by average points per game. 

Secondly, the most prospective young players to look for. The second metric might allow purchasers the biggest chance of benefiting from an increasing value in the future.

Serial number plays a vital role

Although player awareness is an important aspect while valuing NFTs, another important element is the serial number. For example recent sales of the same LeBron James moment. The #1 serial number was sold for $71,455, while #47 for $48,000, or less than half.

Source: NBA Top Shot

The serial number is one of the most crucial elements while valuing NBA Top Shot NFTs. In essence, holding the moments attributed with the lowest serial number is beneficial but serial numbers could also be important in terms of matching them with the jersey number of the player too. 

The importance of series

The next important aspect to consider while valuing NBA Top Shot NFTs is the series. Currently, there are two types of series with more planned for the future. Once the series is closed, the price of the highlight increases. 

In the last 7 days, highlights of series 1 generated around $17 million in volumes. While series 2 did more than $5 million. 

  • Series 1 indicates the time scale between October 2013 – October 2020 
  • Series 2 indicates December 2020 – till now
NBA Top Shot

Looking at the example of two LeBron James highlights explains further. The floor price for the release of Series 1 was $60,000 while series 2 could be bought for $29,000. Additionally, the top sale of a Series 1 highlight was sold for $79,455 while Series 2 sold for just $39,999.

Source: NBA Top Shot

Arguably, the series will play a vital role in the long term. In the future, we can expect moments from the first series to be the most valuable ones.

The importance of tiers

Initially, all highlights are created across four different tiers: common, rare, legendary, and ultimate (available at a future date). This classification is quite common in other types of NFT card collection dapps and makes it easier for users to appraise NFT value. 

Currently there are common, rare, and legendary tiers available on the platform. The tier is summarized by the edition size of each highlight:

  1. The common edition size fluctuates from 1,000 plus
  2. The rare tier edition size fluctuates from 150 to 999
  3. The legendary tier will have a minimum of 25 to 99
Source: NBA Top Shot

The price range differs for each tier for different players. If looking into LeBron James highlights, the floor price of Common and Rare tier moments are $2,150 and $5,685 respectively. Whereas the legendary tier value starts from $48,999.

Source: NBA Top Shot

In the long run, the tier is going to be one of the most important elements when valuing highlights. It is predicted that the most rare tiered moments will maintain and increase in value over time. 

How the Set gives uniqueness

Sets are another key factor to take into consideration while purchasing NBA TopShot highlights. There are 28 sets in total which are classified by tiers. 

  1. Legendary – 6 sets (Most of them are Limited Editions)
  2. Rare – 16 sets
  3. Common – 6 sets

Looking at sales within sets over the last 7-days we see the most popular ones to be the Base Set and the Metallic Gold LE.

NBA Top Shot

Looking at Luka Doncic’s legendary highlight from March 11th, 2020 from Series 1. The price varies for similar highlights and tiers and this is clearly due to sets. 

For Set Holo MMXX (Series 1) the price ranges between $30,000 to $50,000 whereas for Cosmic (Series 1) the price ranges between $70,000 to $100,000.

NBA Top Shot
Source: NBA Top Shot

The utility of NBA Top Shot Collectibles

Different attributes are not the only thing that can satisfy collectors. NBA Top Shot gives users an opportunity to participate in challenges, create sets and showcase their collections. Each of these events is designed to ensure users deepen their interaction with the platform.

For instance, currently there are two open challenges with each having a reward. The reward itself is usually some rare highlight of the player that is not found by purchasing the packs. In order to be rewarded, the user must collect some predefined highlights.

NBA Top Shot
Source: NBA Top Shot

The activities within the dapp helps to boost the usage of the platform. Additionally, it helps to temporarily increase the highlights that are needed to fulfill the challenge. In the short term, this is one of the key elements that drives value.

The importance of whale activity

Whale activity is another important factor that can have an impact on the valuation. A well known creator and collector whale in the NFT space – Pransky, recently hyped NBA Top Shot sales. 

Users in the space like Pranksy are becoming influencers with the ability to make or break projects. Followers watch their moves in regards to sales and purchases and look to emulate their strategies for success. In this way, when a whale makes a move, the industry reacts. 

NBA Top Shot
Source: Twitter

As the NFT collectible space matures and develops throughout 2021 we are likely to see erratic pricing fuelled by speculation. For that reason, it is essential to understand why and how NFTs gain their monetary value in the first place.

At the present time, the most important factors while valuing NBA Top Shot NFTs could be the players popularity, tiers, serial number, series and sets.

Furthermore, utility and activities such as challenges, collections, or showcases will serve in keeping the value static or rising. 

The road ahead

To conclude, despite the fact that NBA Top Shot has only been live from October 2020, the platform has already shown amazing potential with sales of $100,000 for NFT collectible moments.

As the crypto bull run winds down investors are searching for a new store of value outside BTC, Gold and Silver. NFTs have come to the fore as a solution with further record breaking sales occurring across the NFT space in 2021.  

Further updates and additions to NBA Top Shot such as the addition of the Cool Cats packs should stimulate further first, and secondary market sales. 

When will we see the first $1 million NFT? As always we will continue to monitor and report on developments in the exciting NFT sector. Don’t forget to bookmark DappRadar and sign up to our newsletter below to get updates directly to your inbox. 

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