Rookie Card Year: 2008-09
Investment Rating: 6.5
A large portion of the NBA believes that the formation of a "Big 3," pairing three elite players on one team, is the best route to an NBA Championship. The Oklahoma City Thunder are a blueprint for another option where a team has several bad seasons to load up on lottery picks and uses the chemistry built over several seasons to achieve an elite team. Although Kevin Durant is the face of the Thunder, it was only after Russell Westbrook joined the team that they started seeing wins. And with wins comes more collector interest. Russell Westbrook cards have seen a lot of movement as of late because of this.
After just a few seasons, Westbrook has emerged as an elite point guard in the NBA. He offers a good complement to Durant as it forces defenders to cover more than one star to shut down their offense. Critics point to the fact that Westbrook appears to still view himself as the key cog in the offense instead of a role where he defers to Durant. Although some of Westbrook's spats have been blown out of proportion by the media, he made it very clear by resigning with the Thunder that he is aware his success lies in a pairing with Durant rather than on another team where he could be the undisputed star.
With many of the top teams in the Western Conference filled with older players, the young Thunder nucleus should make regular trips deep into the playoffs. Westbrook is vital to this process and he has steadily increased his stats since he joined the league.
He already commands strong values for his autographs and rookie cards, second only to Derrick Rose among players from the 2008 NBA Draft. Although not a top-tier hobby favorite overall, Russell Westbrook cards are firmly entrenched at a level below. With the team the Thunder have in place, it is hard to imagine a scenario where they don't win a championship in the near future. Already priced fairly high, Russell Westbrook cards don't represent a huge investment opportunity. However, an NBA title would still result in a bump. Non-card autographs appear to be the best option as values still remain on the low end.
There are almost 30 official rookie Russell Westbrook cards from 2008-09, with over a third being autographed. There are a pair of Russell Westbrook cards from 2007-08 products that receive solid interest despite not being true rookie cards as they were both redemptions. They include 2007-08 Chronology #254, which is numbered to 250, and 2007-08 Finest #104.
Top Russell Westbrook Rookie Cards
The best option among first-year Russell Westbrook cards, 2008-09 Exquisite Collection features an on-card autograph and diamond-shaped patch swatch. The great design combines a color scheme that matches the Thunder's uniform and properly displays the autograph and jersey. Collectors can expect to spend over $600 for ungraded copies of this elite card.
With a slightly larger print run than Exquisite, 2008-09 SP Authentic still holds its own among Russell Westbrook cards, thanks to its on-card autograph and jersey piece. SP Authentic also has a retail version that includes a similar Westbrook rookie card. The main difference is that the card uses red foil instead of gold and does not have a jersey piece. The retail version is much more rare despite not being serially numbered.
With the lowest print run on the list, UD Black could be seen as the top option for premium collectors. Although it also features an on-card autograph and quad jersey piece that spells out 2008, it actually represents the best value among rookie Russell Westbrook cards. Despite being limited to 99 copies, it can be had for, on average, about a quarter the amount of Westbrook's Exquisite rookie.
Russell Westbrook Rookie Card Checklist
Budget Rookie Cards
- 2008-09 Bowman #114
- 2008-09 Fleer #204
- 2008-09 SkyBox #204
- 2008-09 Topps #199
- 2008-09 Topps Co-Signers #104 #/2008
- 2008-09 Topps Hardwood #104 #/2009
- 2008-09 Topps T51 Murad #174
- 2008-09 Topps Tip-Off #114
- 2008-09 Topps Treasury #104
- 2008-09 Upper Deck #262
- 2008-09 Upper Deck Lineage #204
- 2008-09 Upper Deck MVP #204
Mid-Range Rookie Cards
- 2008-09 Bowman Chrome #114
- 2008-09 Topps Chrome #184
Premium Rookie Cards
- 2008-09 Exquisite Collection #93 Autographed Jersey #/225
- 2008-09 Hot Prospects #140 Autographed Jersey #/199
- 2008-09 SP Authentic #139 Autographed Jersey #/299
- 2008-09 SP Authentic Retail #139 Autograph
- 2008-09 SP Rookie Threads #67 Autographed Jersey #/599
- 2008-09 SPx #114 Autographed Jersey #/99
- 2008-09 SPx #124 Autographed Jersey #/99
- 2008-09 UD Black #46 Autographed Jersey #/99
- 2008-09 Ultimate Collection #127 Autographed Jersey #/150
- 2008-09 Upper Deck Premier #104 Autographed Jersey #/199
- 2008-09 Upper Deck Radiance #90RC Autographed Jersey #/99
Russell Westbrook Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Russell Westbrook's authentic signature looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Reputable authentication companies include JSA, PSA, Panini Authentic and Mounted Memories to name a few. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.
Russell Westbrook Cut Signature Exemplar
Russell Westbrook Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Russell Westbrook signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics, depending on when in his career the item was signed. Other characteristics that play into his signature style are the particular item and venue. Look for the following signature features:
- The whole signature is hastily written with only a couple of legible letters.
- The letter "R" is legible with the rear vertical line written on a 50 degree angle and exhibiting a very narrow loop.
- The next several letters are implied with only the "e-l" being discernible and even then the "e" resembles more of an "a" and the "l" is not completed.
- The "W" is pronounced and widely spaced.
- The next several letters are again, indistinguishable.
- The signature ends with what looks like an "l" but is in fact a "k."
Russell Westbrook Signed Basketball Pricing:
Russell Westbrook Signed Jersey Pricing:
Russell Westbrook Signed Photograph Pricing:
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