Ten Vintage 1970’s Basketball Cards To Buy And Hold

76-topps-ervingI think we all know about the craziness going on with the Jordan rookie card, but of course other vintage basketball cards have been moving up in price as well

Still, with a few exceptions (think the Dr J rookie card) the 1970’s era for vintage basketball cards still feels like a bit of an underappreciated part of the market.

Basketball seemingly came into full force in the 1980’s, with the arrival of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, and of course, Michael Jordan himself. 

So, I thought it would be a good exercise to identify ten basketball cards from the 1970’s that look like good investments from a buy and hold perspective.  

Sure there’s been a lot of hysteria in the space (thanks Gary V) but I’m ignoring ALL that noise and looking for vintage basketball cards that I still think represent attractive value and should be good investments for the long term.

So, as always, if you have any comments or questions on any card on this list, feel free to reach out to me at chris@allvintagecards.com

**Oh and note this is in no particular order so feel free to pick and choose off this list**

1970 Topps - Wilt Chamberlain #50

Estimated Value (Excellent-Mint, PSA 6): $300

The 1970 Topps cards tend to get overlooked from a set perspective,  mostly due to the larger size and the lack of rookie power in the set.  However the set is full with basketball legends, including the #50 card of one Wilt Chamberlain.

chamberlain-70-topps

It's generally not a tough card to find: PSA has graded over 1200 copies.  Still, the supply pales in comparison to let's say a Jordan rookie, which has been graded nearly 20k times by PSA

While a near mint or mint copy is likely to going run you over $1000, the great thing is that given the supply, an Excellent to Mint copy can usually be found for less than $300.

1969-1970 Topps Basketball Complete Set of 99 Lew Alcindor (R) Wilt Chamberlain

$2,450.00  
End Date: Tuesday Jul-06-2021 16:21:50 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $2,450.00
Buy It Now

1970 Topps Basketball Wilt Chamberlain #50 PSA 8 NM-MT (OC)

$549.00  
End Date: Sunday Jun-20-2021 15:07:24 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $549.00
Buy It Now

1970 Topps #50 Wilt Chamberlain SGC 9.5 MINT+++++

$20,000.00  
End Date: Sunday Jul-04-2021 16:40:47 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $20,000.00
Buy It Now

1970 Topps Tallboy Wilt Chamberlain # 50 PSA 7

$650.00  
End Date: Monday Jul-12-2021 22:02:51 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $650.00
Buy It Now

1970 Topps #50 Wilt Chamberlain SGC 8 NM-MT

$1,000.00  
End Date: Thursday Jul-01-2021 12:26:34 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,000.00
Buy It Now

1970 Topps - Lew Alcindor #75

Estimated Value (Excellent-Mint, PSA 6): $500

The Lew Alcindor second year card from the 1970 Topps set is actually the most valuable card in the set, yet still generally underappreciated in my opinion.  

alcindor-70-topps

The card has a slightly higher PSA population as opposed to Chamberlain with over 1500 graded by PSA, yet still fairly affordable.  An Excellent-Mint copy (PSA 6) on average sells for $400-$500; in my mind a good choice for vintage basketball collectors. 

1970-71 Topps #75 Lew Alcindor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar NM/MT Razor Sharp Card

$249.00  
End Date: Sunday Jun-20-2021 21:36:15 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $249.00
Buy It Now

1970-71 TOPPS LEW ALCINDOR (Kareem Abdul JABBAR) 2ND YR PSA 8!

$999.00  
End Date: Sunday Jun-20-2021 19:14:14 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,800.00
Buy It Now

1970-71 Topps Set Break # 5 Hayes/Uns/Lew Alcindor EX/EX-MT REBOUND LDRS

$3.99  
End Date: Sunday Jun-20-2021 13:33:23 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $3.99
Buy It Now

1970-71 Topps Basketball Card Rebounds Leaders Lew Alcindor #5

$14.00  
End Date: Sunday Jun-20-2021 11:42:21 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $14.00
Buy It Now

1970-71 Topps Basketball Card Scoring Leaders Lew Alcindor #1

$15.00  
End Date: Sunday Jun-20-2021 11:41:17 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $15.00
Buy It Now

1971 Topps - Dave Cowens (RC) - #47

Estimated Value (Excellent-Mint, PSA 6): $100

Dave Cowens was a key member of the Celtics teams in the early 70's and was named as the #66th best player in the history of the NBA by ESPN.  

cowens-rookie

His 1971 Topps card again, isn't rare; ;ess than 1000 cards have been graded by PSA, with a Near Mint copy selling for less than $100--- a bargain in my opinion for one of the all time Celtic greats.

1971 TOPPS BASKETBALL #47 DAVE COWENS PSA 9 MINT ROOKIE CARD!!!!

$1,249.95  
End Date: Thursday Jul-08-2021 18:46:39 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,249.95
Buy It Now

1971 Topps Basketball #47 Dave Cowens Boston Celtics HOF PSA 9 " PRISTINE "

$1,350.00  
End Date: Wednesday Jun-30-2021 16:53:39 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,350.00
Buy It Now

1971 Topps Basketball Dave Cowens #47 PSA 9 MINT

$3,000.00  
End Date: Saturday Jul-03-2021 17:18:22 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $3,000.00
Buy It Now

1971 Topps Trios Stickers Love Williams Cowens PSA 9

$575.00  
End Date: Friday Jul-02-2021 22:19:41 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $575.00
Buy It Now

1971-72 Topps Basketball Complete Set Wilt Alcindor West Barry & Cowens Rookies

$2,475.00  
End Date: Thursday Jun-24-2021 11:46:50 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $2,475.00
Buy It Now

1971 Topps Stickers - Hawkins/Mullins/Alcindor #37, 38, 39

Estimated Value (Excellent-Mint, PSA 6): $100

Throwing out a bit of an oddball here-- the 1971 Topps Sticker set isn't really all that hotly demanded by collectors, but if we consider that collectors go bananas for sticker cards of star players (see 86 Fleer Jordan sticker) and three panel cards (see Bird/Magic rookie) then maybe this one should have a spot in a vintage basketball collection?  Not only do you get Alcindor, but also a panel for HOFer Connie Hawkins. 

alcindor-sticker

PSA has only graded 200+ copies of the card, making it much rarer to find than any of the other early 70's Topps sets.  Consider this one a good value play for an affordable way to get a super cool Alcindor/Hawkins card. 

1971 Topps Stickers Lew Alcindor Jeff Mullins Connie Hawkins PSA 6 EXMT

$27.00  (9 bids)
End Date: Saturday Jun-19-2021 21:23:20 EDT

Bid

1971 Topps Stickers Lew Alcindor Connie Hawkins Jeff Mullins PSA 5 EX

$9.99  (1 bid)
End Date: Saturday Jun-19-2021 21:23:15 EDT

Bid

2 of the 1971-72 topps trio stickers. Hawkins, Mullins, Alcindor. #37,#38,#39

$120.00  
End Date: Thursday Jul-08-2021 20:32:48 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $120.00
Buy It Now

1971 Topps Trios Stickers Lew Alcindor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Hawkins Near Mint 3

$65.00  
End Date: Sunday Jul-04-2021 10:39:21 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $65.00
Buy It Now

1971-72 Topps Stickers #37/38/39 Hawkins/Mullins/Lew Alcindor (Kareem) ~ NM oc

$50.00  
End Date: Wednesday Jun-30-2021 12:56:20 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $50.00
Buy It Now

1972 Topps - Julius Erving (RC) #195

Estimated Value (Excellent-Mint, PSA 6): $800

We've covered the Dr. J rookie card previously, but I can't write a piece about investing in 70's vintage basketball cards without mentioning it.  

It's not a rare card; PSA has graded roughly 3500 copies of the card.

Still if we come back to the comparison-- the Jordan rookie, it's still only a fraction of the population.

dr-j-rookie-card

A Dr. J rookie in Excellent-Mint condition can on average be found for around $800, which I still think is a good investment, even given the increase in price over the past few years. 


1972 Topps Julius Erving Rookie Card (RC) (PSA 4) (Amazing Eye Appeal for Grade)

$799.00  
End Date: Tuesday Jul-13-2021 18:54:03 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $799.00
Buy It Now

1972 Topps Basketball Julius Erving 195 PSA 6 No Fisheye and Freshly Graded

$1,095.00  
End Date: Sunday Jul-11-2021 22:58:23 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,095.00
Buy It Now

1972 Topps Basketball 195 Julius Erving RC PSA 3 VG

$700.00  
End Date: Tuesday Jul-13-2021 20:55:27 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $700.00
Buy It Now

1972 Topps #195 Julius "Dr. J" Erving PSA 5 Rookie RC | PWCC-A Sticker Top 30%

$1,000.00  
End Date: Monday Jul-05-2021 12:25:51 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,000.00
Buy It Now

1972 Topps Basketball Julius Erving ROOKIE RC #195 PSA 8 NM-MT

$626.00  (18 bids)
End Date: Saturday Jun-19-2021 21:27:52 EDT

Bid

1973 Topps - Julius Erving #240

Estimated Value (Excellent-Mint, PSA 6): $100

This is the second year card of Dr. J, and one that has a fairly limited population (relatively speaking).  As far as PSA is concerned, they've graded roughly 1/4 as many 1973 Topps Erving cards as they have his 1972 Topps rookie. 

73-topps-erving

I think the card is actually a bargain; a PSA 6 copy can be found for less than $100, while a NM-MT (PSA 8) copy of Erving's second year card can be found for less than $300 currently.

1973 Topps #240 Julius Erving All Star PSA 7 52909094

$1,300.00  
End Date: Tuesday Jul-13-2021 02:21:13 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,300.00
Buy It Now

1973 TOPPS #240 JULIUS ERVING HOF PSA 8

$409.99  
End Date: Saturday Jun-19-2021 12:38:50 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $409.99
Buy It Now

1973 Topps Basketball #240 Julius Erving

$24.00  
End Date: Monday Jul-12-2021 09:22:54 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $24.00
Buy It Now

1973 Topps Basketball Julius Erving #240 PSA 8 NM-MT (PWCC-E)

$550.00  
End Date: Friday Jul-09-2021 21:37:01 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $550.00
Buy It Now

1974 Topps - George Gervin (RC) #196

Estimated Value (Excellent-Mint, PSA 6): $200

This is the rookie card for one 'Iceman' George Gervin, who is considered to be one of the best basketball players of all time (ranked #47 by ESPN).  Gervin is known for his trademark finger roll, he won four scoring titles and earned twelve straight all star selections.

Will the Gervin rookie go crazy like the Jordan rookie? No, absolutely not.  But this is a key rookie for one of the top 50 basketball players of all time.  

It has been graded nearly 1000 times by PSA, so by no means rare, but still if you can find one in nice condition, it's a nice cornerstone rookie. 

At $200 for an Excellent-Mint copy, I'd say it still looks attractive.

1974-75 Topps San Antonio Spurs Team Leaders - George Gervin Rookie Year RC

$8.95  
End Date: Sunday Jun-20-2021 06:45:22 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $8.95
Buy It Now

#227 George Gervin Swen Nater James Silas 1974-75 Topps Cb12

$5.49  
End Date: Sunday Jul-11-2021 19:04:31 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $5.49
Buy It Now

George Gervin Autographed 1974 Topps Basketball Rookie Card Signed Auto

$350.00  
End Date: Sunday Jul-11-2021 14:05:08 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $350.00
Buy It Now

1974 Topps - Bill Walton (RC) #39

Estimated Value (Excellent-Mint, PSA 6): $150

Again, Walton isn't in Jordan or Lebron or Bird or Magic territory, but it's a key rookie for one of the better college and NBA players to play the game, along with the fact that Walton has become one of the most well known announcers in the NBA.  

walton-rc

A nice copy, usually a PSA 6 to PSA 7 can be found for around $100.  Again, not rare, but still, Walton's rookie is a cornerstone for vintage 70's basketball cards. 

1974/75 Topps BILL WALTON RC/ROOKIE BLAZERS CELTICS #39 PSA 9 MINT

$5,499.99  
End Date: Friday Jun-18-2021 21:13:18 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $5,499.99
Buy It Now

Miss-Cut 1974 Bill Walton Rookie Card #39 Topps Blazers HOF Nice Card

$25.00  
End Date: Wednesday Jun-23-2021 19:00:37 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $25.00
Buy It Now

1974-75 Topps Basketball Card #39 HOF Bill Walton Rookie RC Portland Trailblazer

$9.99  
End Date: Wednesday Jun-23-2021 14:13:55 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $9.99
Buy It Now

1975 Topps - Moses Malone (RC) #254

Estimated Value (Excellent-Mint, PSA 6): $150

When we talk about players that came up in the 1970's, I feel like Moses Malone gets overshadowed for some reason.  Dr. J's name still hits the top tier of the conversations about the upper echelon of players, but maybe Malone is overlooked?  I mean ESPN's rankings don't mean everything -- but they have Malone as the #18 best player of all time

moses-malone-rc

We can see the population and the values below...again, not a rare card, as nearly all the 70's Topps cards are not.  But a PSA 7 on average is still going for $200-$300.  In my mind, it's a great investment for vintage basketball collectors.

malone-pop

1975 Topps Basketball #254 Moses Malone RC Rookie HOF PSA 9 " PACK FRESH "

$510.00  (19 bids)
End Date: Monday Jun-14-2021 23:59:17 EDT

Bid

1975 Topps Basketball #254 Moses Malone Utah Stars RC Rookie HOF PSA 8 NM-MT

$220.50  (17 bids)
End Date: Monday Jun-14-2021 21:46:48 EDT

Bid

1975 Topps Basketball #254 Moses Malone Utah Stars RC Rookie HOF PSA 8 NM-MT

$390.00  (15 bids)
End Date: Monday Jun-14-2021 21:46:09 EDT

Bid

1975 Topps Moses Malone RC Rookie #254-Nice XMT to NMT Card

$100.00  
End Date: Monday Jul-05-2021 09:12:44 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $100.00
Buy It Now

1976 Topps - Julius Erving #1

Estimated Value (Excellent-Mint, PSA 6): $100

The oversized cards returned in 1976 and while there is not a lot of rookie power in the set, I really like this Erving card for some reason.  Plus, the set has a lower graded population than a lot of the other 1970's Topps sets; I'm assuming it's because of the larger size. 

76-topps-erving

We can see that even a PSA 8 card can be found for $200 to $300, even though there have only been roughly 340 cards graded a PSA 8 or higher. 

erving-76-topps

1976 Topps #1 Julius Erving PSA 8 NM/MT

$799.99  
End Date: Sunday Jun-20-2021 19:26:21 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $799.99
Buy It Now

Julius Erving 1976 Topps Basketball Card #1 Nets, 76ERS 

$44.00  
End Date: Friday Jun-18-2021 09:01:08 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $44.00
Buy It Now

1976-77 Topps Julius Erving #1

$29.99  
End Date: Saturday Jul-10-2021 23:14:13 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $29.99
Buy It Now

1976 TOPPS #1 JULIUS ERVING PSA 6

$162.55  
End Date: Thursday Jun-17-2021 20:01:56 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $162.55
Buy It Now
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