While it seems that the early expectations with the Los Angeles Lakers were a bit too high, Lonzo Ball rookie cards are seeing more attention as he settles into his role with the new Orleans Pelicans.
Drafted second overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, Ball was hyped immediately by fans and collectors. Despite some flashes of his potential, he largely struggled to carve out a spot with the Lakers. In 2019, a trade sent him to New Orleans.
Panini is the place to look for the licensed NCAA and NBA Lonzo Ball rookie cards. These all came during the 2017-18 Basketball Card season.
Don't think the key cards are only for Lonzo. Even his outspoken dad signed some cards for Leaf, which can be seen on eBay.
Top Lonzo Ball Rookie Cards and Other Key Early Cards
Buy specific cards or track prices using the links below. Linked products in the body go straight to detailed set profiles.
2017-18 NBA Hoops Lonzo Ball RC #252
The first pack-pulled NBA cards for Ball arrived in 2017-18 Panini NBA Hoops. The court-themed design displays the familiar colors of the Lakers on a base card that is plentiful, but that will remain one of his most popular overall options as time goes on. In addition to his inclusion in several of the inserts, Lonzo Ball rookie autographs come in the main signed set and Hot Signatures line.
2017-18 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Lonzo Ball RC #51 Autograph
After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, 2017-18 Contenders Draft Picks brought with it the first new basketball set of the season, and, of course, the first traditional, pack-pulled Lonzo Ball rookie autographs. On top of that, Ball came in the RPS (Rookie Photo Shoot) subset so his College Ticket autographs are each hard-signed.
While all options have strong value, there are actually four different image versions plus multiple Ticket parallels for every choice. The base version in the white jersey is shown first, followed by the A, B and C variations, which are noted as such on the card backs.
2017-18 Panini Prizm Lonzo Ball RC #289
Prizm is always a favorite for collectors every year, and 2017-18 Prizm NBA is no different. The many Prizms are especially popular for Ball.
If you want another Lonzo Ball Prizm rookie, take a look at 2017-18 Prizm Mosaic Basketball.
Key Early Lonzo Ball Cards
2017-18 Panini Instant NBA RPS First Look Lonzo Ball RC #5 (PR=3,289)
Among the most popular print-to-order cards for Lonzo, the Rookie Photo Shoot First Look set in 2017-18 Panini Instant NBA is the debut for Ball in his Lakers jersey. It also adds the RC logo. A print run of 3,289 copies means most should be able to obtain one with relative ease. In addition, low-numbered parallels include Green (#/10) and the one-of-one Black.
2017-18 Panini Instant NBA Draft Night Lonzo Ball #DP-2 (PR=1,251)
Issued shortly after his draft selection, the on-demand 2017-18 Panini Instant NBA provided collectors their earliest Lonzo Ball NBA card. While the final production of 1,251 copies allows for decent supply, first means something to collectors and values have climbed. More limited are the Silver (#/25), Green (#/10) and Black (1/1) parallels.
2017-18 Panini Instant Lonzo Ball Instant Access Autograph #/10
Extreme rarity is not enough to blunt the allure of the first Lonzo Ball on-card autograph. However, with only 10 Green copies and a one-of-one Black version, collectors have their work cut out for them. This is another example of the on-demand Instant brand in action.
2017 Panini National Convention Lonzo Ball Cards
Collectors who made it to the 2017 National in Chicago were treated to a large assortment of early Lonzo Ball rookie cards. All featuring his UCLA gear, Ball was found in the VIP ticket package set, main wrapper redemption packs, and VIP party set from Panini, which also included a separate VIP Gems insert card containing a diamond.
While most of the premium options featuring sticker autographs and relic pieces are low-numbered, collectively the NSCC cards provide a strong selection for the young star. They also offer a starting place for many fans who prefer packs to the online segment of collecting.