Much like football, basketball rookie cards cannot be produced for incoming rookies until they declare their eligibility for the NBA draft and are selected by a team. Any previous card of the player, including those depicting them in their NCAA or High School uniforms are designated as pre-rookie cards.
The NBA has recently created a developmental league, which is the basketball equivalent of the minor leagues. Even if a drafted player is designated to an organization’s NBADL team, they are still considered a rookie and thus their trading cards can rightly be considered rookie cards.
Browse our database of basketball rookie cards which features individual NBA player RC checklists, buying guides and image galleries.
2012-13 Panini National Treasures Basketball Rookie Patch Autographs are bound to be the most expensive NBA rookie cards of the year. Get an in-depth look at the set, including images, a full checklist, team info and more.
2012-13 Panini Preferred Basketball Rookie Silhouettes are some of the most popular rookie cards of the year. Check out the entire set with this comprehensive guide. Includes images, set details, checklist, buying guide, real-time hot list and much more.
Towards the end of the basketball card season, some truly high-end rookie cards hit the market. Kicking that off, and likely leading the way, are the 2013-14 Panini National Treasures Basketball rookie cards. Ever since Panini landed the exclusive NBA license, the ultra high-end brand has produced some of the most impressive — and expensive […]
The number one overall pick in 2014 and the 2014-15 NBA Rookie of the Year, Andrew Wiggins has been on the collecting radar for some time. View all his rookie cards and notable pre-rookie options in our full guide.
Despite being entirely exclusive to Target, 2014-15 Panini Threads Basketball makes things more interesting by dividing the various rookies by the box configuration. Check out all the rookie card options and where to find them in our detailed guide.
Complete 2008-09 Derrick Rose rookie card checklist with pictures of all 27 cards. Rose has a total of 16 regular base rookie cards and 11 base rookie autographs. By far his best rookie is from 2008-09 Exquisite Collection as one would expect. His hardest to find may surprise you.
One of the top NBA rookies in the 2014-15 class, Elfrid Payton’s play has gotten the attention of the hobby. View a complete gallery of all Elfrid Payton rookie cards, along with his key pre-rookie and college cards.
An all-time great that still does not get the credit he deserves, Elgin Baylor is one of the best players in NBA history. Take a complete look at his available vintage card options in our detailed guide.
Once again, the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs square off with an NBA title at stake. Several hobby heavyweights are featured in the matchup, as well as plenty of other notable players. View a complete NBA Finals guide to the top rookie card options and much more.
Few cards in the hobby history carry the same clout as the Michael Jordan rookie card. Counterfeits problems run rampant, but this simple guide helps you tell a real 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan from a fake one.
Although his rookie year ended prematurely, Jabari Parker is still a key option from the 2014-15 NBA rookie class and should not be overlooked. Check out all the rookie cards for Jabari Parker as well as his notable pre-rookie options.
By announcing that he’s the first openly gay active athlete in a major American sport, Jason Collins cemented a place in history. We look at his top cards and look at whether his announcement might lead to any added collector interest.
One of the hottest names from the 2015 NBA Draft class, Kristaps Porzingis has the makings of a star and collectors are jumping on board. View all the Kristaps Porzingis rookie cards in our detailed guide.
Named the 2013-14 NBA Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams has bolted to the top of the basketball collecting landscape. We take a look at all his available rookie cards, including card images, analysis, shopping guide and more.
One of the biggest rookie surprises for 2014-15 NBA collectors, Nikola Mirotic put forth an impressive first season. Check out a detailed look at all the Nikola Mirotic rookies cards and his key pre-rookie cards.
A giant among men, Yao Ming was a force during his prime with the Houston Rockets and only injuries kept him from greater heights in the NBA. Now that the Hall of Fame has come calling, we look back at the top Yao Ming basketball cards.
Blake Griffin has shown that he is more than just a highlight-reel dunker. The dynamic forward has the LA Clippers in title contention and collectors clamoring for his rookie cards. View the top ten Blake Griffin rookie cards with our comprehensive guide.
Before dominating Capitol Hill as a Senator from Kentucky, Jim Bunning dominated the pitching mounds as a member of the Tigers and Phillies. His best baseball card appearances from his remarkable career are brought together in this comprehensive top list.
Vintage basketball cards tend to get overlooked in the hobby, but 10 cards stand out from the rest. View a comprehensive guide to the top ten vintage basketball rookie cards of all-time, including cards images, info, shopping guide and more.
Vintage Hall of Fame basketball rookie cards can command huge amounts, but deals can still be found. Take a look at the top 20 budget basketball HOF options from the 1950s and 1960s, including images, analysis and much more.
After a slow start and several key injuries, the 2014-15 NBA rookies are finding their way and collecting interest is building. Check out the top players to collect in the draft class, including card images, shopping guide and more.
Led by Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and Tyler Herro, the 2019-20 basketball rookie class looks strong and collectors have certainly taken notice. Keep tabs on key options and the hottest auctions in our guide.
One of the last dynasties in professional sports, the Chicago Bulls are largely remembered for their dominance in the 1990s. However, the team has seen success in many decades and offers collectors an appealing mix of top rookie card options.
With plenty of titles and some of the biggest names in basketball history, the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers feature a plethora of cardboard talent. Check out the top Lakers rookie cards of all-time in our detailed guide.
The Hall of Fame is the peak of sporting recognition, but it does not have to mean that the player’s rookie cards are unaffordable. With that in mind, we take a look at 20 budget rookie cards for Basketball HOF players after 1980.
Featuring some of the top players in NBA history, the Philadelphia 76ers are loaded with rookie collecting goodness. Check out the top vintage and modern rookie card options for the 76ers in our detailed guide.
One of the top modern NBA franchises, the San Antonio Spurs offer collectors a good supply of top rookie cards and plenty of great budget options. Check out the best Spurs rookie cards of all-time in our detailed guide.
Now that the 2009-10 basketball card season has officially come to a close, we countdown the top five true rookie cards of 2009-10 NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans. From Crown Royale to Playoff Contenders, we cover all the requisite cardboard of the NBA’s “Smooth Operator”.
There is no debating the importance of the 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card, but there are quite a few other early MJ cards that are also worthy of recognition. We take a detailed look at the top Michael Jordan cards of the 1980s.
Thanks to his Hall of Fame career largely spent with the Timberwolves and Celtics, collectors are revisiting the Kevin Garnett rookie cards. Check out the full lineup with a detailed guide for the NBA legend.
A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Shaquille O’Neal is one of the biggest players in NBA history, on and off the court. View all the Shaq rookie cards and his other key early cards in our detailed guide.
The 2nd overall pick had a successful debut season, making Victor Oladipo one of the hottest 2013-14 NBA rookies. Check out a comprehensive guide for the exciting guard, including full checklist, images of every rookie card, analysis, shopping guide and more.