Generally regarded as one of the best point guards in the NBA, Chris Paul is a perennial All-Star who is still chasing his first title. While that will ultimately dictate his overall legacy, he is a virtual lock for the Hall of Fame. In the hobby, Chris Paul rookie cards are popular and continue to see good interest from collectors.
An All-Star throughout most of his NBA career, Paul has been something of a basketball nomad, starring for the New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Phoenix Suns.
Of course, he got his start with the Hornets in 2005 and that's when the official Chris Paul rookie cards appeared. There is technically an earlier NBA card in 2004-05 Finest via a redemption (#/599).
The following guide features several of the best Chris Paul rookie cards available to collectors. While it is not included in the list, his 2005-06 Upper Deck Portraits rookie card, numbered to just 99 copies, is still worth noting. Despite being tied with two other Chris Paul rookie cards as the rarest, there is little else to make the card special and it rarely appears for sale.
In addition, CP3 autograph inserts from his rookie season are still in good supply, but the prices are trending up.
For a complete base RC rundown, view the full Chris Paul rookie card checklist.
Top Chris Paul Rookie Cards to Collect
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10. 2005-06 SP Game Used Chris Paul RC #149 #/999
Although Chris Paul's intense stare and open mouth immediately catches the eye, the 2005-06 SP Game Used rookie card brings a lot of elements, and they largely work. Numbered to 999, there are also several parallels that add a different foil color and lower print run.
9. 2005-06 Upper Deck Trilogy Chris Paul RC #137 #/599
A popular brand with hockey collectors, Upper Deck Trilogy covered a few NBA seasons in the 2000s, as well. As one of the most unique Chris Paul rookie cards, it makes for an intriguing option even without a signature. The acetate rookie has a print run of 599 copies.
8. 2005-06 SP Signature Edition Chris Paul RC #104 #/499
This 2005-06 SP Signature Edition card is not signed, but it still presents a strong Chris Paul rookie card option with one of the best designs on the list. The print run of 499 copies might sound like a lot, but these can be tougher to locate.
7. 2005-06 Topps Chrome Chris Paul RC #168
Offering both a great base rookie and the opportunity for some high value with the many Refractors, the 2005-06 Topps Chrome is arguably the most popular mainstream rookie for Paul.
Notable parallels include base Refractors (#/999), Black Refractors (#/399), Gold Refractors (#/99) and X-Fractors (#/90).
6. 2005-06 Finest Chris Paul RC #106 #/599
Certainly not the best design from the brand, the 2005-06 Finest Chris Paul rookie card utilizes a large blue basketball that dominates the background. However, the limited print run and Refractor parallels make this one of the preferred base rookie cards.
Various parallels include Refractors (#/249), Red Refractors (#/169), Green Refractors (#/89), Gold Refractors (#/39) and Black Refractors (#/19). Worth noting in case blue is not your style, the Refractor options actually change the main basketball color.
5. 2005-06 SPx Chris Paul RC #153 Autographed Jersey #/750
The first of several Chris Paul rookie autographs, SPx normally features some of the wildest rookie card styles and that is taken to another level given the colors of the Hornets. Although the trapped autograph is not ideal and the tiny jersey piece is easy to miss, this signed card is popular and in good supply.
4. 2005-06 SP Authentic Chris Paul RC #94 Autograph #/1,299
Even with the higher print run, the 2005-06 SP Authentic Chris Paul rookie card bests SPx because of the on-card signature. Further adding to the appeal, the card is also the only Chris Paul rookie card to feature a full signature versus the normal mashup his cards traditionally have. Patch parallels add a small jersey swatch in place of the NBA foil logo.
3. 2005-06 Fleer Greats of the Game Chris Paul RC #113 Autograph #/99
Not nearly as well known as the other brands at the top, Fleer Greats of the Games earns a high spot based on the very low print run and on-card autograph. The base 2005-06 Chris Paul rookie card has a silver color scheme and is numbered to just 99 copies. The gold version is shown below and is limited to only 25 copies. Neither option surfaces very often.
2. 2005-06 Ultimate Collection Chris Paul RC #146 Autograph #/250
2005-06 Ultimate Collection features a standout Chris Paul rookie card. The hardwood background is a nice signing surface but the lined middle section does make the text harder to read. Nevertheless, this is a premium rookie card worth adding.
1. 2005-06 Exquisite Collection Chris Paul RC #46 Autographed Patch #/99
The undisputed champion among Chris Paul rookie cards, 2005-06 Exquisite Collection combines an on-card signature, medium-sized patch and low print run to make the preferred CP3 card. Even ungraded, these rare cards sell for thousands.