Tim Duncan is a marvel of consistency and production. The ageless wonder ended his career after 19 seasons, but you would not think that watching him dominate the paint and consistently leading San Antonio deep in the playoffs, year after year. It took longer than it should have, but he is finally receiving hobby love and Tim Duncan cards are trending upward.
Unlike most modern star players, Tim Duncan does not have many certified autograph cards. After signing a moderate amount early in his career, Tim Duncan has few autograph cards to speak of since 2005-06. This places an immediate premium on any of his certified autographs, which are not in great supply. While his playing style might be viewed by some as lacking flash, even without a ton of autographs, his cardboard career is anything but boring.
The following list looks at some of the best Tim Duncan cards. The lineup is definitely more on the premium side as these are some of the most popular Tim Duncan cards in existence.
View our Tim Duncan rookie card guide for a complete look at the RC lineup, including many that are quite affordable.
Top 10 Tim Duncan Cards to Collect
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1997-98 E-X2001 Jambalaya Tim Duncan #8
Since the rare Jambalaya insert also includes Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, it is easy to forget that Tim Duncan is available. Even though he was only a rookie at the time, many felt confident that the overall number one pick would be special. They don't get more special than this, with odds of 1:720 packs. The limited 1997-98 E-X2001 insert has enjoyed considerable staying power and value in the hobby thanks to a unique die-cut design, bright colors and considerable rarity.
If you can't track down the original, Duncan is part of subsequent Jamabalaya inserts, as well.
1997-98 Finest Tim Duncan Refractor RC #101, #306, #325
Finest normally has a lot going on and it does not disappoint with three different first-year cards for Tim Duncan in the 1997-98 product. The real gem, however, is the Refractor parallel for the Bronze, Silver and Gold (#/289) cards. The most valuable option is a die-cut Gold Embossed Refractor, numbered to 74.
1997-98 Flair Showcase Legacy Collection Tim Duncan RC #5 #/100 (Row 3, Row 2, Row 1, Row 0)
Similar to Finest, Flair Showcase also utilized multiple card versions with increasing rarity. The various tiers run from Row 3 to Row 0 and also include Legacy Collection parallels. While many collectors are happy with the base cards, these limited parallels are numbered to 100 and command a significant premium.
1997-98 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems PMG Tim Duncan RC #66 #/100
Arguably one of the most prized basketball parallels in the history of collecting, Precious Metal Gems also made their debut in Duncan's first season. All the 1997-98 Metal Universe PMG cards are numbered out of 100, with the green occupying the first ten cards and the red filling the remaining 90 cards.
1997-98 Topps Chrome Refractor Tim Duncan RC #115
1997-98 Topps Chrome is easily the most preferred Tim Duncan rookie card and the base rookie card prices are still affordable for most. The Refractor parallel is where things begin to get crazy, especially high grades.
1998-99 Skybox Premium Autographics Tim Duncan #37
One of the earliest NBA cards autographed by Tim Duncan, Autographics already has a legion of fans. The base version is not the easiest to track down, but the rare blue ink version is hand-numbered to only 50.
1998-99 Upper Deck Game Jerseys Tim Duncan #GJ15, #GJ31
As the first NBA jersey card for Tim Duncan, the Upper Deck Game Jersey insert carries special significance. There are two similar versions for Duncan and the only difference is the small player images that are featured on each card.
2000-01 Stadium Club Co-Signers Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal #CS3 Autograph
Widely considered two of the best big men from the modern era, Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan are paired on this signed card. The combination is also interesting because Shaq reportedly bestowed the "Big Fundamental" nickname on Duncan.
2000-01 Topps Finest Moments Refractor Autographs Tim Duncan #FM-TD
Since Tim Duncan autographs remain rare, it can be hard to point to specific cards as being better than others. The Finest Moments Refractor Autograph insert from 2000-01 is particularly remarkable because it includes an on-card autograph and a photo of Duncan posing with his first NBA championship trophy and Finals MVP Award. He would go on to add four more titles and two more Finals MVP awards.
Any High-End Jersey Patches for Tim Duncan
Without a large supply of autographs, collectors must look to Tim Duncan memorabilia card options for more premium options. The best relic choices are found in high-end releases that have come to dominate the modern basketball card market, including Flawless and Immaculate Collection.