Panini Prizm is considered one of the leaders and front runners of the sports card industry today. While it may not have always been that way, we now see Panini Prizm as a foundational brand in sports card collecting, especially in basketball.
Panini Prizm Basketball debuted in 2012, giving us basketball fans and card fans a new look to invest in. Since then, we’ve seen the likes of greats such as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry and future greats like LaMelo Ball, Trae Young, and Zion Williamson. These cards are highly sought-after by collectors and can be found at various price points depending on condition and rarity.
With all that being said, we’re looking at some of the best Panini Prizm Basketball cards we’ve seen so far. We’ll be looking at the top 10 cards, and nothing is off limits; rookie cards, Prizm parallels, and Panini Prizm Inserts are all fair game. Also, an honorable mention. We understand lists spark a lot of debate, and we expect nothing less from you on this one, so feel free to let us know where we got it right and where we got it wrong.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Kobe Bryant 2012 Panini Prizm Autograph
What else must be said for one of the most iconic NBA players ever? Just like LeBron James, there are no Kobe Bryant Panini Prizm rookie cards to collect. In 1996 products included Topps, Skybox, and others that dawned a young Kobe. However, that doesn’t mean that modern-day cards are incapable of having a value in the basketball card market.
Kobe Bryant’s 2012’s Panini Prizm Autograph provides just that value and appeal. While some of the allure may be due to his untimely and tragic passing, Kobe Bryant’s first appearance and autograph on a Panini Prizm product make for one of the few crown jewels that don’t come in the form of a rookie card. The action shot of Kobe handling the ball, looking to make his move, being accompanied by his signature gives us an authentic representation of him. Today, this card is on the market, easily surpassing $25,000, and as Panini Prizm becomes even more popular along with the love and adoration of Kobe, it wouldn’t surprise me if this card was to one day crack six figures.
10. LeBron James 2020 Panini Prizm Pink Ice
While none of LeBron James’ rookie cards are under the Panini Prizm brand, Most of LeBron James’ most valuable cards come before Panini Prizm Basketball was conceived. Therefore rookie cards are out of the question. However, that doesn’t mean that LeBron James’ post-rookie cards are pieces of garbage.
LeBron James’ 2020 Panini Prizm Pink Ice holds so much weight, thanks to the captured action shot. After the passing of Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers point forward returned to the court for the next game to show tribute to his passing friend by replicating one of his signature dunks. Current prices on the LeBron James 2020 Panini Prizm Pink Ice aren’t jaw-dropping as is considered affordable compared to the others on this list, yet if there was a potential Panini Prizm LeBron James card that could become even more popular over time.
9. 2012 Stephen Curry Panini Prizm Base
The 2012 Stephen Curry Panini Prizm Base Card makes our list at 9, and while it may not be one of the most significant cards in the history of Steph Curry basketball cards, the debut of Panini Prizm featuring a young Steph Curry before blowing up and becoming the greatest shooter in NBA Basketball history gives this card some significance.
8. Anthony Davis 2012 Panini Prizm Green
Anthony Davis’ rookie cards on the basketball card market is an interesting one. Because those who are basketball fans know that Anthony Davis is one of the most talented and gifted players to ever play in the NBA, but his health so far in his career has left us wondering what the ceiling could be if he’s able to play at full strength all year long. Which is why we have Anthony Davis at 8.
7. Trae Young 2018 Panini Prizm Rookie Signatures
Next up on our list is Trae Young’s 2018 Panini Prizm Rookie Signatures card. Trae Young has been nothing short of exceptional since entering the league. Averaging 25.3 points, 9.1 assists, and 3.9 rebounds in 4 seasons, while also being selected to play in 2 All-Star games. With his success and being a fan favorite to young fans and the mainstream basketball community, the Trae Young 2018 Panini Prizm Rookie Card is a byproduct of that success.
6. Nikola Jokic Panini Prizm Rookie Card #335
Nikola Jokic’s Panini Prizm rookie card in 2015 is next on our list at 6. Nikola Jokic, a 2-time NBA MVP and 3-time All-NBA First Team member, is arguably the best center in the league today. However, not many expected he could be viewed as one of the elite talents and now gems in the sports card industry.
The Nikola Jokic 2015 Panini Prizm Rookie Card has relatively spiked in the basketball card market. This is because of his outstanding play, and how he surprised the basketball community with his rise to superstardom. While other versions of this card, including the base card and Ruby Wave, have done well in auctions, we have seen the best results in terms of the current price listed is the Orange Wave, where we’ve recently seen this card sell for nearly $9,000 and be listed for $20,000!
5. Zion Williamson 2019 Prizm Pink Ice Rookie Card
Zion Williamson is one of those names everyone knows when it comes to young stars in basketball. Zion Williamson was a high school phenom jumping over kids, and at that point, we knew he was must-see television.
However, he falls in top 5 due to his value on the basketball card market taking a dip to a slew of injuries that kept him sidelined. But if he can come back strong and show that he is the same Zion that we all love (and maybe even better), I believe that price could skyrocket to record-breaking numbers and he could be the most valuable card on this list in a matter of months.
4. Jayson Tatum 2017 Panini Prizm White Sparkle Rookie Card
Listed at number 4 on our list of the best Panini Prizm rookie cards is the Boston Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum on his 2017 Panini Prizm White Sparkle Rookie Card. The white sparkle design on this card is probably my favorite among every card on our list.
The Jayson Tatum 2017 Panini Prizm White Sparkle Rookie Card is also one of the most valuable basketball cards to come out of Panini Prizm since its inception. A gem mint condition graded by PSA has already sold for as high as $20,000 in Panini Prizm Basketball Auctions, and I can see a world where this card is worth 6 or 7 figures. Tatum is still very young in his career, and we can expect so much more from him. If (and I’d go as far as to say when) Jayson Tatum wins an MVP award and an NBA Championship, the accolades will take this card to new heights for basketball card collectors and the sports card industry.
3. Luka Doncic 2018 Panini Prizm Red Ice Rookie Card
Luka Doncic’s 2018 Panini Prizm Red Ice Rookie card makes it into our top 5 at number 3. Again, Luka Doncic and the sports card industry, and I’m fully aware that there may be other players’ cards that are valued higher, but that list isn’t long enough, Luka Doncic. This Luka Doncic rookie card is one of several parallels, and we love its look. The Red Ice design looks fantastic on this card, and it’s just another reason why Luka Doncic is so special.
Luka stepped onto the NBA floor as an instant superstar. He’s already accumulated NBA Rookie of the Year honors, 3-Time All-Star, and 3-Time All NBA honors, and he’s only in his 4th season! So with his great success and his appeal on an international level, you can understand how some of his rookie cards have already broken records. Luka Doncic’s 2018 Panini Prizm Red Ice Rookie Card isn’t one of them that have been breaking records, but it still is going for a very high price in Panini Prizm Basketball auctions in the ballpark of $10,000 to $15,000.
2. 2019-20 Ja Morant Panini Prizm Rookie Card Rookie Base Autograph
Number 2 on our list is Ja Morant’s 2019-20 Panini Prizm #249 Ja Morant Rookie Card Rookie Base Autograph. This card is another modern-day hit that may carry one of the biggest price tags in Panini Prizm basketball history, and for good reason.
Ja Morant came into the league next to his childhood friend, Zion Williamson, and while people knew he was a special talent, his light was somewhat dimmed by Zion’s superstardom. However, Ja wasted no time etching out his own space. Ja Morant has racked up a number of awards, from Rookie of the Year to Most Improved Player, and it seems this is only the beginning, and basketball card collectors know it. Which is this very card can see current prices and auctions reach the six-figure threshold with ease.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo 2013 Panini Prizm Silver
At number 1 on our list of the best Panini Prizm Basketball cards, we are going with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 2013 Panini Prizm Rookie Card. If there has ever been a card that represents the transformation of an NBA player from then to now, this would be the one. We now see Giannis as the “Greek Freak”. This physically imposing figure has proven to be one of the most dominant, but here we see the rookie Giannis maybe 55 pounds lighter in a triple threat.
Thanks to Giannis’ transformation, his success as a 2-time NBA MVP, DPOY and NBA Finals MVP has people hunting this very card.The 2013 Prizm base card has sold for as high as $45,000!
Here are our top ten Panini Prizm Basketball cards ever. While the brand is still considered relatively young compared to some of its counterparts, it’s safe to say they have produced some of the most valuable modern-day basketball cards. This brand will continue to be a staple in the sports card industry.
If you’re new to the card game or a die-hard collector, it’s never too late to start, whether you’re looking at young players like Anthony Edwards, Jalen Green, and Scottie Barnes to begin your collection; or you’re interested in the hall of fame bound veterans like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.