2014-15 NBA Rookie Card Collecting Guide

2014-15 NBA Rookie Card Collecting Guide

Fueling the most anticipation for basketball rookie collectors in recent memory, the 2014 NBA Draft class enters their inaugural season with much excitement and fanfare. While the final verdict may not come for many years, one sure thing is that the 2014 NBA Draft is stacked with potential.

Drawing comparisons to the last big NBA Draft season, 2003-04, which included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and many others, fans and collectors have considerable expectations for this newest group of NBA players.

Unfortunately for collectors caught up in the excitement of these impressive rookies, the NBA season does not officially start until October 28th. However, the first official NBA product, 2014-15 NBA Hoops, is out now. Collectors were also treated to an early look at the rookies when Panini revealed virtual cards from Hoops in real-time as the players were drafted.

In addition to 2014-15 products, collectors have other places to obtain cards for the incoming rookie class. First, previous products, like 2013-14 Panini Signatures and 2013-14 Panini Intrigue, include redemption cards for players from the 2014 NBA Draft. Also, various cards have been trickling out for the top players in other limited releases. Several players have been previously featured on SI Kids cards. 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball brought the first autographs for Doug McDermott and Shabazz Napier, and Dante Exum was included in the 2014 Panini Father's Day set. Also, several of the top picks were featured in a special Hoops promo giveaway at the 2014 NBA Summer League.

But the biggest early release came at the 2014 National Convention in Cleveland. Between the wrapper redemption, NSCC VIP set and VIP gold party packs, Panini produced cards for many of the top 40 picks, including some autographs. Additionally, Leaf released a special five-card set for first-overall pick, Andrew Wiggins. Limited Leaf autographed versions for Wiggins were also available. Interest in these pre-rookies will likely diminish as more regular season options are available.

It is important to note that while Nerlens Noel (2013-14 products) has rookie cards in previous products, he will be recognized as an NBA rookie for 2014-15 since it will be his first season in the league after missing the entire year with a knee injury. Noel is among the favorites for Rookie of the Year.

View a detailed list of the top 2014-15 NBA rookies below, as well as a simple overview of the other notable players. Although some of these players will be included in Leaf basketball releases, several of the top rookies, including the first three picks, are exclusive to Panini products.

2014-15 NBA Draft Rookie Card Collecting Guide

Click on the listing or image to shop for cards on eBay. 

Andrew Wiggins, SG - Minnesota Timberwolves
2014 Draft: 1st Overall
College: Kansas

It has been a tough stretch for Wiggins given his slow start in college and the hoopla surrounding his not-so-secret trade from Cleveland to Minnesota. While playing alongside LeBron James would have been great for his learning curve, the number one overall pick will get much more rookie minutes with the Timberwolves. From a collecting standpoint, he is not far off from Parker and is another leading candidate for Rookie of the year.

2014 15 NBA Hoops Hot Signatures Andrew Wiggins 213x300 Image

Jabari Parker, SF - Milwaukee Bucks
2014 Draft: 2nd Overall
College: Duke

The early favorite for NBA Rookie of the Year, Jabari Parker headlines a rebuilding Bucks' squad that is looking for some star power. Like Wiggins, Parker should enjoy strong rookie minutes and as the most NBA-ready player, Parker should produce early and often.

2014 15 Panini NBA Hoops Basketball Base Jabari Parker RC 214x300 Image

*Joel Embiid, C - Philadelphia 76ers*
2014 Draft: 3rd Overall
College: Kansas

Joel Embiid has already built a sizable following based on his enormous potential and humorous and occasionally bizzare Twitter interactions. Similar to his teammate, Nerlens Noel, he is expected to miss most of his first season and possibly all of it. Regardless, he will stay popular in the hobby during the year, but will likely not see substantial gains or losses until more is known about his availability.

2014 Panini National Convention Joel Embiid 213x300 Image

Aaron Gordon, PF - Orlando Magic
2014 Draft: 4th Overall
College: Arizona

The first of two early draft picks for the Orlando Magic, Aaron Gordon's extreme athletic ability is not enough to overcome a poor shooting record. This should keep expectations down but his highlight dunks will get him plenty of looks from collectors.

2014 15 NBA Hoops Hot Signatures Aaron Gordon 212x300 Image

Dante Exum, SG - Utah Jazz
2014 Draft: 5th Overall
Former Team: Australia HS

The likable Australian has already gotten some screen time thanks to his Adidas Foot Locker commercials and is another player who could have a breakout rookie season. While may have questioned why the Jazz brought in Exum when the already have Trey Burke, the plan (for now, at least) is to deploy Exum at shooting guard.

2014 Panini National Convention Refractor Autograph Dante Exum 212x300 Image

Marcus Smart, PG - Boston Celtics
2014 Draft: 6th Overall
College: Oklahoma State

It has been long rumored that Rajon Rondo is on the way out of Boston. Although a trade has not yet materialized, a preseason injury for Rondo presents more opportunities for Marcus Smart to work his way into the rotation. Collectors are all over the former Oklahoma State star and if Rondo returns slowly or is moved to another team, Smart's hobby interest will surge.

2014 15 NBA Hoops Marcus Smart RC 211x300 Image

Julius Randle, PF - LA Lakers
2014 Draft: 7th Overall
College: Kentucky

With the media coverage and rich history of the Los Angeles Lakers, most new additions will get serious consideration from collectors. But when you account for the considerable potential that Julius Randle possesses,  it is easy to see how many expect Randle to become the next superstar in LA.

2014 15 NBA Hoops Julius Randle RC 213x300 Image

Nik Stauskas, SG - Sacramento Kings
2014 Draft: 8th Overall
College: Michigan

The lanky sniper is one of the best shooters in the entire draft and the next in a long line of shooting guards (Ben McLemore, Jimmer Fredette) that the Kings have previously drafted. Nik Stauskus should immediately help a Sacramento team that struggled beyond the arc.

2014 15 NBA Hoops Hot Signatures Nik Stauskas 213x300 Image

Elfrid Payton, PG - Orlando Magic
2014 Draft: 10th Overall
College: UL-Lafayette

While he did not come from a notable basketball school, Elfrid Payton is the dark horse rookie that many fans and collectors are expecting big things form. The Magic as a team have been down since Dwight Howard left, but they are starting to accumulate some good pieces and Payton should make an immediate impact.

2014 15 NBA Hoops Elfrid Payton RC 213x300 Image

Doug McDermott, SF - Chicago Bulls
2014 Draft: 11th Overall
College: Creighton

Arguably the best shooter in the rookie group, Doug McDermott's early production will be hurt as he is one of the only top players that joins an elite team. The Bulls are a deep playoff team and McDermott's minutes will be inconsistent to start. Despite this, the Creighton grad is a player to keep a close eye on.

2014 15 NBA Hoops Hot Signatures Doug McDermott 213x300 Image

T.J. Warren, SF - Phoenix Suns
2014 Draft: 14th Overall
College: NC State

The Suns were a fringe playoff team last year and T.J. Warren brings a strong scoring ability into the mix. Phoenix is not normally a collecting market, but a winning team and high production can overcome this, to an extent.

2014 15 NBA Hoops T.J. Warren RC 215x300 Image

Other Notable 2014-15 NBA Rookies

Noah Vonleh, PF - Charlotte Hornets
2014 Draft: 9th Overall
College: Indiana

2014 15 NBA Hoops Hot Signatures Noah Vonleh 213x300 Image

Adreian Payne, PF - Atlanta Hawks
2014 Draft: 15th Overall
College: Michigan State

2014 15 NBA Hoops Adreian Payne RC 217x300 Image

Tyler Ennis, PG - Phoenix Suns
2014 Draft: 18th Overall
College: Syracuse

2014 15 NBA Hoops Tyler Ennis RC 211x300 Image

Mitch McGary, PF - OKC Thunder
2014 Draft: 21st Overall
College: Michigan

2014 15 NBA Hoops Hot Signatures Mitch McGary 216x300 Image

Shabazz Napier, PG - Miami Heat
2014 Draft: 24th Overall
College: Connecticut

2014 15 NBA Hoops Shabazz Napier RC 214x300 Image

C.J. Wilcox, SG - Los Angeles Clippers
2014 Draft: 28th Overall
College: Washington

2014 15 NBA Hoops Hot Signatures C.J. Wilcox 214x300 Image

Cleanthony Early, SF - New York Knicks
2014 Draft: 34th Overall (2nd Round)
College: Wichita State

2014 15 NBA Hoops Cleanthony Early RC 213x300 Image

Zach LaVine, PG - Minnesota T-Wolves
2014 Draft: 13th Overall
College: UCLA

2014 15 NBA Hoops Zach LaVine RC 211x300 Image

James Young, SG - Boston Celtics
2014 Draft: 17th Overall
College: Kentucky

2014 15 NBA Hoops Hot Signatures James Young 212x300 Image

Gary Harris, SG - Denver Nuggets
2014 Draft: 19th Overall
College: Michigan State

2014 15 NBA Hoops Gary Harris RC 212x300 Image

Rodney Hood, SG - Utah Jazz
2014 Draft: 23rd Overall
College: Duke

2014 15 NBA Hoops Hot Signatures Rodney Hood 211x300 Image

P.J. Hairston, SG - Charlotte Hornets
2014 Draft: 26th Overall
Former Team: Texas Legends (D-League)

2014 15 NBA Hoops P.J. Hairston RC 214x300 Image

Kyle Anderson, PF - San Antonio Spurs
2014 Draft: 30th Overall
College: UCLA

2014 15 NBA Hoops Hot Signatures Kyle Anderson 213x300 Image

Glenn Robinson III, SG - Minn. T-Wolves
2014 Draft: 40th Overall (2nd Round)
College: Michigan

2014 15 NBA Hoops Hot Signatures Glenn Robinson III 221x300 Image

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2014-15 Panini Prestige Andrew Wiggins Foil Rc Rare! Hot Wolves Hot New
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2014-15 Panini Prestige Jabari Parker Rc Foil Rare Bucks Hot! Mint Exclusive
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2014-15 Aaron Gordon Panini Prestige Rc Bonus Ahot Blue #99 Rare Foil Plus
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2014-15 Panini Prestige Marcus Smart Rc Jersey Foil Rare #199 Celtics Hot!!!
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2014-15 Panini Prestige Jabari Parker Rc Jersey True Colors Bucks Rare Foil Plus
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2014-15 Panini Hoops Jabari Parker Rise 'n Shine Rookie Jersey Relic RARE
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2014-15 Prestige Andrew Wiggins "True Colors" Rookie Relic Card! SP! # 74 of 99!
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2014-15 Panini Hoops #266 Marcus Smart RC Artist Proof 1 99 Celtics
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Joel Embid RC 2014-15 Hoops Artist Proof Parallel Insert # 99!
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Doug McDermott Chicago Bulls RC 2014-15 Hoops Artist Proof Parallel Insert # 99!
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Mitch McGary RC 2014-15 Hoops Artist Proof Parallel Insert # 99!
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Aaron Gordon Orlando Magic 2014-15 Hoops Kobe All Rookie Team Insert
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Trey Treutel

E-Mail Author | 
Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. As an adult, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim, and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute.

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