Carmelo Anthony has been a fixture in the hobby spotlight since his time at Syracuse and his cards are highly sought after by collectors. However, questions remain regarding his ability to lead a team to the ultimate prize. The individual numbers were always there for Anthony, but the team success was still lacking. These are just a few of the reasons why Carmelo Anthony rookie cards have not approached the same levels as fellow 2003 NBA Draftees, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
After Carmelo Anthony forced his way out of Denver and joined the New York Knicks, it still appeared that the Denver Nuggets were the better overall team as the Knicks struggled to find their way. A few years have passed and it now seems that the Knicks have found the right combination of players and coaching to allow Anthony to flourish. In the bright spotlight of the the Big Apple, Anthony will only have a short window to produce. If he can put it all together and carry the Knicks to the NBA Finals, expect big value increases for Carmelo Anthony rookie cards and memorabilia. But if he fails to push the Knicks deep in the playoffs, Carmelo Anthony might soon find himself faced with more questions, or even on another team.
The following list includes the best Carmelo Anthony rookie cards. While geared more toward autographed options, it also includes more budget-friendly cards.
Top Carmelo Anthony Rookie Cards
This rookie card from Topps Chrome represents one of the cheapest options for collectors to own a top Carmelo Anthony rookie card. Higher value parallels include Refractors, Black Refractors (#/500), X-Fractors (#/220), and Gold Refractors (#/50).
Carmelo Anthony's Bowman Chrome rookie card is another reasonably-priced rookie card for collectors. Like Topps Chome, Bowman Chrome is more about the parallels. Popular options include Refractors (#/300), X-Fractors (#/150), and Gold Refractors (#/50).
A high print run and sticker autograph make the Carmelo Anthony rookie card in Bowman Signature Edition a strong option for collectors looking for a budget-friendly autographed card. Also featuring a jersey piece, these cards were selling in the $30-50 range during most of March and April in 2013. A gold parallel, numbered to 99, commands slightly higher values.
Featuring a huge signature area, appealing design and mid-level print run, the Carmelo Anthony rookie card in Topps Contemporary Collection represents the best overall value for collectors. There is also a red parallel that is limited to 50.
Another autographed Carmelo Anthony rookie card with a high print run, collectors are drawn to the bright colors and the Finest brand recognition. Despite the sticker autograph, values remain strong. Collectors have also shown great attention to the Refractor (#/250) and Gold Refractor (#/25) paralllels.
These cards don't seem to pop up as often as other Carmelo Anthony rookie cards, so the awareness factor is likely low. This may explain why they usually sell for under $100. With a small jersey piece, cut box autograph and print run of 400, they represent another solid value for collectors.
Like a prototype that was never meant to leave the lab, Carmelo Anthony's SPx rookie card seems like the rough draft of a final product. Despite these deficiencies and a higher print run, these cards still carry strong values.
SP Authentic is another great option for collectors. The bronze background is a little distracting but a nice on-card autograph and mid-level print run still make it a solid rookie card. Limited parallels (#/50) command a premium when they surface.
Ultimate will never surpass Exquisite for top rookie honors, but this Carmelo Anthony rookie might be the best looking card on the list. Serial Numbered to only 250, this appealing card is great consolation if you are not willing or able to afford the Exquisite Collection rookie.
This iconic product remains the top option for any rookie fortunate enough to be a part of the inaugural set. This is doubly true for a superstar player like Carmelo Anthony. Limited to only 99, this top Carmelo Anthony rookie card features a nice on-card autograph and jersey patch.