As we roll into yet another NBA season, the sports card collecting game will only continue to pick up. What will be the most sought after cards out there? The rookies. They have and will always be the most valuable cards out there. So this season, there’s a new batch of NBA rookie cards to buy in 2021. They could be some players that had a down year last season looking to bounce back, new rookies just entering the game this season or even some players that simply don’t hold their true value right now.
Either way, this list will give you a good indication about who you should buy whether you’re just starting out or are knee-deep in the card collecting world.
Three NBA Rookie Cards to Buy in 2021
Karl-Anthony Towns 2015-16 Panini Prizm (RC)
Karl-Anthony Towns is an extremely undervalued player in the NBA. When discussions emerge about the NBA’s top center, KAT is almost always left on the outside. This trend has directly correlated with his card stock as well.
KAT hasn’t been blessed with the greatest supporting casts in his career (besides the small stint with Jimmy Butler), thus his success hasn’t been as great as most would’ve expected. However, KAT now has star point guard D’Angelo Russell and newly drafted Anthony Edwards to accompany him. The addition of these two talents should not only help the Minnesota Timberwolves become a more successful team, but it should also help KAT expand his ceiling and further develop his game.
Right now, KAT’s 2015-16 Panini Prizm is selling ungraded for right around $65 on eBay. This will be KAT’s first season with some significant talent around him and it’s amazing to me that his price has stayed so low. A postseason appearance would skyrocket KAT’s stock, but even a solid season from the 25-year-old center would cause his price to rise. I’m buying KAT for anything under $65 right now.
Coby White 2019-20 Panini Prizm (RC)
Second-year talents are always very interesting in the card market. Most of the time, these former rookies are judged heavily on their first-year performance. Because of this, second-year guys are extremely undervalued before their sophomore campaign begins. Coby White is one of those guys. White is one of a few NBA rookie cards primed for an increase.
White certainly didn’t disappoint in his first season in the league, but he also didn’t finish atop his class in terms of performance. He averaged just over 13 points per game and shot an inefficient 39% from the field. His usage rating wasn’t as high as many expected and at times he was playing third fiddle to both Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen. This season, however, White should see a significant jump in both his production and usage.
With a new coach at the helm and a year of experience under White’s belt, the UNC star is one of the more anticipated jumps this year, yet his cards are still fairly low in price. A White Prizm rookie is selling for roughly $40 on eBay. White may be more of a long term investment because of his age, but he’s got all the makings of a future All-Star. Lavine’s contract expires in just two years and the possibility of a trade even sooner than that isn’t out of the question either. If that does happen, this becomes Coby White’s team and that would be wonderful news to his rookie card owners. Grab him before his price skyrockets.
De’Aaron Fox 2017-18 Panini Prizm (RC)
Yet another young guard with an extraordinary ceiling, De’Aaron Fox has been one of the most fun players to watch over the past couple of years. He made an extraordinary jump last season, eclipsing 20 points per game for the first time in his career. He’s an explosive talent that has consistently gotten better each year he’s been in the league and I don’t see that trend changing this season.
Fox is not only an elite scorer, but his assist numbers prove he can dish the ball just as well as he can score it. This duel threat that not all guards possess makes him a double-double candidate nearly every night and I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibilities to say he may finish the season averaging one. The addition (and steal for that matter) of Tyrese Haliburton at the NBA draft has now given Fox a dynamic partner that can stick the three from almost anywhere.
Fox’s Prizm rookie currently sells for roughly $40 on eBay and has actually seen a slight increase just over the past month. The Western Conference remains stacked at the guard position, but Fox has All-Star level talent and should be in the conversation for many years to come. His Westbrook-like style is unique in itself and he’s only 23. Fox is not only a short term investment but one that should bring you significant rewards even further down the road. Everyone should be dipping into the Fox collection and he’s one of the best NBA rookie cards to buy this year.
Invest Before It’s Too Late
Card investments are never without risk. There are injuries. There are busts. Players sometimes just don’t pan out. However, finding those undervalued cards is where the investing game hits another level. If you can find a solid mix of value and potential, that’s where the money is. Towns, White, and Fox should remain top tier players in the card market for years to come and they are all NBA rookie cards to buy in 2021.
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