The time Frank Kaminsky was more valuable than LeBron James

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images /

On a sleepy regular-season night in January, Frank Kaminsky found himself on top of the basketball world — and on top of Jock MKT’s payout list.

A 1,245 percent return on investment in one night.

No, that’s not the Reddit community sending Gamestop stock to the moon (then back down, then up again). That’s what you would have made on Jock MKT if you invested in Frank Kaminsky’s initial player offering before he posted his best game of the season.

Jock MKT, the daily fantasy app inspired by traditional stock exchanges, allows real-time buying and selling of athlete shares before and during games. Shares of Kaminsky went for $1.19 at tip-off and finished at $16, good for the highest ROI percentage of any NBA player since the platform launched this past September.

The stretch-big trying to revitalize his career in Phoenix came out of nowhere to post 12 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists on Jan. 28, helping to lead the Suns to a win over the Warriors. On the same night, shares of LeBron James started at $15.88 in the IPO stage and paid out $25 per share after his 22-point, 7-rebound, 10-assist stat line provided a 57 percent return.

Of course, the best guys like LeBron will always be the most expensive and finish near the top of the leaderboard over the course of a season. But with the daily format, players like Kaminsky can surprise on any given night.

How does Jock MKT work for a player like Frank Kaminsky or LeBron James?

Because it’s condensed into single games and stocks aren’t held over long periods of time, users drive frenzied price fluctuations with some even moving shares following big plays.

“This isn’t a market in perpetuity. The 10 minutes before the IPO closes gets hectic like the end of an eBay auction,” Jock MKT co-founder Tyler Carlin, said in an interview. “It creates a short feedback loop and it’s a peer-to-peer marketplace so someone has to be on both sides of the trade.”

The better a player performs will help their stock rise and vice versa, but it also depends on the rest of the league for that day’s slate of games. The starting prices will be set based on projections and ending prices will settle relative to all the other players going that night.

“We’ve tried to borrow a little bit from daily fantasy and learn from some of those earlier models like Fantex,” Carlin said. “There’s less guesswork in what things are potentially worth and it’s more just focusing on what people are already used to around projections and ranking. We boiled it down to make it feel less like a finance product and more like fantasy football.”

In addition to the NBA, Jock MKT covers the NFL, NHL and PGA. If you’re looking for another distraction on top of all the others already out there, go find yourself some value.

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