culture

These Are the 17 Hottest Basketball Cards in the Last 17 Months

17cards 2160x954
Jason Koeppel / ONE37pm

This article about the best basketball cards on the market right now was written by Gary VaynerchukRaghav Haran, and Tyler Schmitt.

 

Before we go into these 17 cards below that have seen crazy spikes, and before you read other articles like this on ONE37pm, just know that the entire collective sports card market has completely exploded in the last 24 months. 

 

These are just 17 that we’re fascinated by here at ONE37pm.

1. Luka Doncic 2018 Prizm RC PSA 10

luka numbers
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Luka’s rookie card was anywhere between $71—$90 in March 2019, and as of August 2020, it just sold for $1,325. 

luka ebay sold
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Here’s a graph of how the value’s been moving since October 2019:

luka chart
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Luka’s proven himself to be a potential all-time player since the start of his sophomore year and an MVP contender. And if he ends up winning the MVP title, who knows where this card could go.  

2. Giannis 2013 Prizm Rookie PSA 10

giannis numbers
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Giannis’s rookie card went from around $270 to $6800 in the last 17 months—that’s a 25x return on investment! 

giannis ebay sold
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

If he ends up winning the NBA title or MVP, there could be a lot more potential here - not to mention that Giannis is a charismatic and good guy off the court. He’s a front-runner to be the next face of the NBA, which could, of course, push his card values up even more. 

3. LeBron James 2003 Topps Chrome Rookie Refractor PSA 10

lebron james refractor numbers
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Lebron’s Topps Chrome rookie refractor was another significant spike—starting at around $5400 in March 2019 and selling for $46,500 in June 2020. While this card carried a higher price point from the original date we’re looking at; the returns are still insane. 

lebron james refractor ebay sold
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

The refractor is a variation of the 2003 Lebron James Topps Chrome rookie card, which is currently selling for $14,500+ as of August 2020. If you check the population reports on PSA’s website, you’ll see that the refractor is in far lower supply, which is an indicator of why the price is so much higher. 

lebron james refractor popreport
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

4. Kobe Bryant 1996 Topps Chrome Rookie PSA 10

kobe numbers
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Kobe’s card went from around $965 in March 2019, to over $14,000 in August 2020. 

kobe ebay sold
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Kobe is an all-time great basketball player who was admired by just about everybody who watched or played the sport. His legacy will only continue to grow over time, and he’s a legend in LA (the entertainment capital of the world), which could make this card an attractive long term investment. As demand continues to grow for sports cards, many entrants will look to Kobe as their first purchase. The base Topps card (non-chrome) is also something to keep an eye on. 

5. Jayson Tatum 2017 Prizm Rookie PSA 10

jayson tatum numbers
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Jayson Tatum’s 2017 rookie card went from around $20—$30 in March 2019 to $787 in August 2020. Jayson continues to show growth year over year and has become the centerpiece of the Boston Celtics franchise. If Tatum is able to lead the Celtics to a title, who knows where this could go. 

jayson tatum ebay sold
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

6. Trae Young 2018 Prizm Rookie PSA 10

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 1.03.29 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Trae Young’s base rookie card went from $39—$55 in March 2019 to $450 in PSA 10.

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 1.05.08 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Trae’s an example of a player who’s widely anticipated to be a future star in the NBA and someone whose popularity has grown over time. As the three-point shot becomes more of the focus in today’s NBA, Trae is primed to be the face of the league for a long time. It’s yet to be seen whether he’s able to turn the Hawks franchise around and how winning will factor into the sales of his card.

7. 1992 Stadium Club Shaquille (Shaq) O'Neal Beam Team PSA 10

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 1.06.40 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

This card didn’t have much sales activity until March 2020—when we saw it sell for in the $750—$1128 range.

shaq beam team ebay sold
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Today it’s around $5000. 

 

This is an interesting one since it shows the evolution of how the “most desired” rookie card can change over time. Much like Jordan, Kobe, etc., Shaq is an icon of the game and a player even the most casual of fans refer to on a first-name basis. His off the court business savvy & awareness has and will lead to lifelong notoriety. There’s an argument to be made in this case that the Shaq beam team is becoming “the” rookie card for Shaq, which could create a lot more demand for this card over time. 

8. LeBron 2012 Prizm PSA 10

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 1.15.20 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

LeBron’s 2012 Prizm card started at $62 in March 2019 and went to $2000+ as of August 2020.

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 1.15.41 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

The 2012 year was the first year Panini had the NBA license, and subsequently, the first year that Prizm was released as a product. Since 2012, Prizm has become the center of basketball card culture and the most widely sought after product. Because this was the first year of the product, it was printed much less than the years following - the entire 2012 set has seen a massive increase in demand. When a player’s rookie card goes up in value (like LeBron’s Topps Chrome card) to the point where people can’t afford it anymore, demand for other cards of that player goes up. People start collecting second-year cards, or first-year cards with a specific team. 

9. Kawhi Leonard 2012 Prizm PSA 10

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 1.18.07 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Kawhi’s 2012 Prizm card went from $63 in March 2019 to $3,650 in August 2020.

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 1.21.36 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Kawhi’s growth as a player has been incredible to watch—he’s regarded by many as one of the best players in the NBA right now, with a high likelihood of adding another title soon. 

10. 2003 Bazooka LeBron James Base PSA 10

lebron bazooka chart
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

LeBron’s 2003 Bazooka card went from around $117.50 in 2019, to nearly $2000 in August 2020. 

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 1.28.33 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

As mentioned before, when a player’s rookie card gets out of reach, other cards start to move up in price. One reason for the price increase might have been the unique “comic book” design which makes it different from other cards. Two icons on one card, what more is there to say.

11. 1985 Nike Promo Michael Jordan Bulls RC HOF PSA 9

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 1.32.53 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

In March 2019, this card was going for around $217, in July of 2020, it went to $1776 - an 8x return. 

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 1.36.17 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

This card is a little different from the design compared to other cards—given the iconic Jordan pose, it could appeal to those who are new and just getting into the hobby. It’s worth paying attention to. Also, there’s something to be said about the feel of large slabs!

12. 1980 Topps Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, & Julius Erving Scoring Leader PSA 9

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 1.43.50 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

This card went from around $3.6k—$4.2k in March 2019 to nearly $20k in July 2020! Three icons on a single card, with it being the first appearance for Bird & Magic on the card make this a true grail in the hobby!

bird magic drj chart
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

bird magic drj ebay sold
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

13. 2007 Kevin Durant Topps Chrome Rookie PSA 10

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 1.52.13 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Kevin Durant’s Topps Chrome rookie card went up over 10x—from $399 in March 2019 to over $4.5k in August 2020. Arguably a top-five scorer of all-time with some uncertainty ahead due to his return from injury, but if he never played again he is a 2x NBA Champion & Finals MVP.

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 1.53.29 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

14. 1969 Lew Alcindor / Kareem Abdul Jabbar PSA 6

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 2.12.12 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

This card started out at $660 in March 2019 and sold for $3570 in July 2020. One of the most iconic players in league history combined with incredibly low population & those that remember him in his prime being of older age and more disposable income could see this continue to rise in value. 

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 2.12.45 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

15. Hakeem Olajuwon Rookie 1986 Fleer PSA 9

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 2.14.02 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Hakeem’s rookie card went from $510 in March 2019 to nearly $850 in August 2020. The 86 NBA Fleer set is about as iconic as they come & with such low population compared to modern-day cards, some say there is no slowing down on these anytime soon.

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 2.14.44 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

16. Klay Thompson 2012 Panini Prizm

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 2.15.59 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Klay Thompson’s rookie card went from $71 in March 2019 to $920 in August 2020. Similar to the stated above, all things 2012 Prizm continues to go crazy! Klay holds the record for points in a quarter and has been part of one of the most lethal backcourts in history.

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 2.16.26 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

17. Anthony Davis Prizm Rookie 2012 PSA 10

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 2.22.58 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Anthony Davis’s rookie card went from around $80 to $3500 in the past 17 months. His move to the Lakers & playing alongside Lebron has brought awareness he didn’t have the first few years of his professional career. One could argue we’ve never seen a player like Anthony Davis in this league before

Screen Shot 2020 08 07 at 2.23.03 PM
Image Provided by Team Gary Vee

Did you like this article?
Thumbs Up
Liked
Thumbs Down
Disliked