The New Trash Packs: Series 3 Base Set

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NBA Top Shot will be releasing their second Base Pack of Series 3 on Friday, but to be honest with you, this pack is fairly unattractive. In addition to the rookies they released last time, they will be adding another seven rooks, but only two of them (Chris Duarte & Josh Giddey) are likely to command major value. The rest of the rookies, Gary Payton II, Dalano Banton, Ziaire Williams, Corey Kispert, Ayo Dosunmu, are unlikely to sell for much more than $25, and again, you have a very low chance of actually securing any of these guys even if you buy five-plus packs.

Here are the total counts of all the rookies available in the upcoming drop:

Jalen Johnson (100)
Ayo Dosunmu (1,600)
Evan Mobley (100)
Moses Moody (100)
Josh Christopher (100)
Ziaire Williams (1,600)
Josh Giddey (1,600)
Jalen Suggs (100)
Davion Mitchell (100)
Dalano Banton (1,600)
Corey Kispert (1,600)

The pack will cost $9, there will be 350K packs available (a 1K increase from the previous drop) and collectors will be able to purchase five at a time. Collectors will also have the option of rejoining the queue after the initial purchase of five, and should supplies last, they will be able to secure an additional five packs. However, I wouldn’t recommend buying more than one, as these new Base Set packs for Series 3 essentially function as lottery tickets. There’s an extremely low probability of pulling anything of value (AKA a rookie), and anything that is not a rookie won’t sell for much more than $2-$3, thus making the contents of the pack less valuable than the pack itself when you consider Top Shot’s 5% selling fees.

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As an example, for the first drop of Series 3 I bought six packs and received the following:

3 Killian Hayes worth $3 each
4 Daniel Theis worth $3 each
3 Julius Randle worth $3 each
2 Javonte Green worth $3 each
2 Andrew Wiggins worth $3 each
1 Jae’Sean Tate worth $3
1 Anthony Davis worth $3
1 Christian Wood worth $3

1 Daniel Gafford worth $3

Now, taking fees into account, had I sold all those I would have lost $2.70, but instead, I turned every one of these Moments into Trade Tickets and then bought five Locker Room packs. I didn’t get anything good from the Locker Room, but because they were all Series 2 Moments (which count as 12 points towards your Collector Score instead of the two-point, Series 3 Moments), my Collector Score got roughly a 200-point boost.

However, I wasn’t the only person who had the idea of exchanging my trash for marginally better trash, and the Series 2 Locker Room packs sold out by the end of the day, which tells you how much people absolutely hated the Moments they received in the first drop. With no more Series 2 Locker Room packs available as an insurance policy against Series 3 trash, it makes these Series 3 Base Set packs that much more unattractive.

Top Shot wants their Base Set packs to be more “accessible” to your average collector, which means they will be filled with trash, 60K CC Moments that won’t sell for more than $3. Even the three LE Moments from the first drop (which had an Edition Size of 9,999) didn’t sell particularly well, with Jaylen Brown’s lowest being $9, Myles Turner's at $6 and C.J. McCollum’s at $7, so I’m not expecting the new LEs (LaMelo Ball, Donovan Mitchell and Devin Booker) in this second drop to be major money-makers. That said, I might target Gary Payton II's Top Shot debut with a 12K Edition Size on the dip, as he will have a reasonably low Edition Size and he'll create a new bottleneck for the Full Team Set completion of Golden State.

It’s only the well-known rookies who commanded high value. As an example, Josh Christopher and Jalen Johnson (rookies from the first drop) currently have their lowest asks set at $35 and $36, respectively, and I’d anticipate that value to drop further once the Moments are fully distributed. I’d also anticipate plenty of rookies in the upcoming drop to sell for under $30.

Because of how likely you are to lose money on these Base Set packs, it would make much more sense to me to just buy the rookies you want on the dip, rather than scratching lotto tickets hoping one of your $9 packs won’t be a complete loss. I’ll probably buy one pack just for the thrill of it and because I have the dapper credit, but I certainly won’t be buying more than that, and I cannot advise anyone reading this column to buy more than one. Just wait for the first Rare drop, because those will be the big money-makers in Series 3, assuming Top Shot doesn’t fall off a cliff.