Panini has signed exclusive deals with five players who were among the top picks in the 2015 NBA Draft. Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, D'Angelo Russell, Jerian Grant and Emmanuel Mudiay will now only appear on Panini cards. The deal covers NBA, college and autograph cards.
On top of the five exclusives, Panini also announced that they signed additional card and autograph deals with more than 50 other prospects. These are not exclusives.
The first NBA rookie cards for 2015 draft picks will be in 2015-16 NBA Hoops, which is scheduled to release in October.
Although Panini holds exclusive rights for NBA cards and a near-exclusive for the NCAA, the five exclusives prevent other companies from using them on unlicensed cards. By signing Grant, who went to Notre Dame, it could also hinder Upper Deck who has an exclusive deal with his alma mater.