NBA Top Shot Trading Guide
This guide covers everything you need to know to start making money trading NBA Top Shot moments.
What is NBA Top Shot?
NBA Top Shot allows users to own digital collectibles that represent some of basketball’s greatest highlights. The collectibles, called “moments” are short video clips that exist on a blockchain, which allows for real ownership of a digital asset.
Moments are tradable and come in different levels of rarity, with prices ranging from a few dollars to hundreds of thousands. With a wide variety of moments and rapidly changing prices, the NBA Top Shot market provides tons of opportunities to make profitable trades.
Signing up for NBA Top Shot is a simple process and only requires an email. Next you want to decide how you want to pay for the moments you will buy. The platform gives you the option of paying with a credit card or with cryptocurrency.
You can pay after you select the moment you want to buy, but we recommend depositing funds into the platform beforehand so that you can make trades faster. To do this, hover over your profile in the upper right of the page and click “Dapper Balance.” This takes you to a page where you can choose how much you want to deposit and submit your payment.
Series and Sets
The time period when a certain moment was released is categorized by a series. The first was conveniently named Series 1 and once that ended, no new Series 1 cards could be minted, only Series 2. Each series is further split up into a large number of "sets" with fun names like "Cosmic" and "Deck the Hoops." A moment's series and set can slightly influence the price, with Series 1 moments being most desirable.
Tiers and supply
Top Shot moments come in four different tiers of rarity: common, rare, legendary, and ultimate. The common tiers have the largest supply for each moment with 10,000+ copies. Rare moments can come with a max supply between 500 and 4,999 editions. Moments in the legendary tier are limited to 50-499 copies. Some early moments have fewer editions than these ranges. The ultimate tier moments will be auctioned off, instead of dropping in packs, and come in two flavors: Platinum Ice and Genesis. The former will be limited to 3 copies while Genesis moments will only have a single copy.
While rare, legendary, and ultimate moments have a fixed maximum supply for each moment, common moments can be either limited edition (labeled as “LE”) or circulating count (denoted as “CC”). LE means the moments have a supply cap like the other tiers, while CC moments have no limit to how much the supply will increase. CC moments generally make worse investments compared to LEs, since significant supply inflation reduces the value of your moment.
An important thing to keep in mind is that even if the moments you own are all LE, you still need to pay attention to inflation. While a specific moment may have a capped supply, there is no limit on the number of new types of moments that get created. If you own a LeBron James rare moment with 200 editions and a new LeBron moment of a different play is released, then the market for your moment is diluted. There are now more moments for potential investors to split their money between since they see the new moment as a substitute, even though the total supply of your moment is still 200.
This is a crucial factor to understand if you're investing in moments long term and you can learn more about how to handle substitutable inflation in this guide. We recommend buying moments in the rarest category you can comfortably afford, since common moments will have the largest supply increase.
Each copy of a moment will have a unique serial number ranging from #1 to the maximum supply of the moment. In some cases, serial numbers can affect the value with #1 and the player’s jersey number being worth significantly more than the others. Low or otherwise interesting serial numbers can also give a slight bump to the valuation.
Before they ever hit the market, moments come from opening “packs.” Just like packs of physical trading cards, you open these digital packs and receive a few random moments. Packs come with different rarity tiers, with the better ones dropping rarer moments. However, packs usually come in very limited supply. Some pack drops are announced in advance, while others drop at random times.
Go for pack drops
The simplest, cheapest, and most low risk way to make money with Top Shot is by trying to pick up a pack when they are released. When a drop starts all you need to do is go to the packs tab, click “join drop” and leave the tab open. Everyone who joined before the drop starts is assigned a random spot in line. Then the people at the start of the line can buy a single pack and so on until the packs sell out.
While there are tons of people competing for these drops and most of the time you may not be able to get one, it only takes a few seconds to join and you don't pay anything unless you get a pack (which are almost always profitable). Many pack drops are random though, so join our discord if you want alerts when they release.
The market for Top Shot moments is quite liquid compared to other NFT projects, making it easy to exit short-term trading strategies. NBA Top Shot goes through waves of rising hype and media attention and holding a moment for just a few days during that hype can give you a quick profit. For more detailed tips on making short-term trades take a look at our NFT Trading Strategies Guide.
NBA Top Shot has already shown an ability to bring in users and create a community. The NBA fan base is huge, leaving a lot of room for growth, and interest in NFTs in general is exploding. A game called “Hardcourt” is also in development, which will give moments utility and should increase demand. The long-term outlook is great from a demand perspective.
Make sure to consider supply inflation in your decision of a long-term hold. Rare or legendary moments will have less of an inflation issue than commons and should be prioritized if you have the funds for it.
Following the NBA and understanding which players are doing well can give you an edge in the Top Shot market (but is by no means required). If you notice a particular player has been performing better on the court, then you can invest in their moments, hoping that interest in that player grows with their success. Even just having a general idea of which players are the most popular helps in picking investments, as the best players will have the most in-demand moments.
Challenges are events that give out an exclusive moment to everyone who completes the challenge. The requirement is usually to own several specific moments from a given set when the timer runs out.
This strategy often requires a big bankroll as it can get expensive to acquire all the necessary moments. Prices for these moments may drop slightly after the challenge is over, but the super limited reward moment often makes up for it.