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A Different Kind Of Trade Value: Many Michiganders In Mojo’s NBA Exchange

Bettors can participate in fledgling jock market — with a quick trip to New Jersey




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Would you buy stock in Cade Cunningham at $158.02 a share?

Thanks to Mojo’s new NBA jock exchange, this isn’t a hypothetical question. The price is real, and if Michiganders are willing to touch down in Newark after an hour-and-a-half flight from Detroit (more on that later), the purchase is plausible as well. 

Mojo’s price is a combination of the Pistons point guard’s future value ($148.22) and banked value ($9.80), with all values determined by smushing together key statistics like points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, 3-pointers, turnovers, and shooting prowess.

If Cunningham lives up to the potential he flashed in his rookie year, he could certainly justify a long-term investment. But if the calf injury that has cost him virtually his entire second season feels like a bugaboo, an investor might consider taking a short position in Cunningham, just like they would in a publicly traded company they believed was destined to fall short of a quarterly earnings forecast.

Cunningham is the highest-priced Piston on Mojo’s NBA exchange, which launched last Thursday with more than 100 athletes and plans to add all active players by season’s end. (As with its football exchange, Mojo also intends to offer shares in select college hoopsters at some point.) Veteran sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic has the highest banked value among Detroit players at $82.69, lending to a share price of $110.41, but rookie combo guard Jaden Ivey has a higher overall value at $129.19 based on his perceived future value ($124.07).

Spartans, Wolverines, and Pistons legends

LeBron James is the most valuable active player on Mojo’s market with a share price of $516.41, trailed distantly by Kevin Durant ($392.38), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($381.07), Luka Doncic ($373.26), and Nikola Jokic ($355.40). In fact, Mojo’s metrics reveal James to be the highest-priced NBA player dating back to 1980.

Looking back at the late 20th century will remind Pistons fans of happier times. And while Mojo does not offer stock in retirees, it has assigned career values to several Michigan greats of yore, including Rasheed Wallace ($191.07), Chauncey Billups ($180.13), Chris Webber ($171.73), Ben Wallace ($148.11), Steve Smith ($121.56), and Jalen Rose ($107).

As for other former Spartans and Wolverines currently playing in the NBA, Draymond Green is trading at a higher value ($170.08) than his Golden State teammate and sparring partner Jordan Poole ($135.56), while Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr., mobile sportsbooks’ consensus favorite to be voted Defensive Player of the Year, is priced at $169.11 a share.

Just Jersey, but more states on horizon

So far, New Jersey has been the lone state to license betting exchanges like Mojo and Sporttrade. But Suresh Dhandapani, senior vice president of growth for Mojo, told MI Bets that the company’s “goal is to expand into new markets by the end of the year, but it’s still too early to discuss specific markets.”

Seeing as Michigan is one of only a handful of states to legalize iCasino, it would seem to be an open-minded target for the likes of Mojo. But for the time being, Michiganders — or anyone, for that matter — must physically be in New Jersey to buy and sell stock in their favorite players, although they can download Mojo’s app for educational purposes wherever they may be.

Photo: Rick Osentoski/Getty Images