With the NBA playoffs in full swing, there is no time like the present to pick up some of the best basketball card packs of 2021. But which are truly the best of the best? While this of course is a question that depends heavily on personal preference, there are a few that seem to stand out from the crowd. The first that comes to mind is 2021 Panini Prizm Basketball. Panini’s flagship collection has been a stable force in the basketball card world ever since the original design in 2012-2013 and the latest collection is finally here and pouring off the shelves.
In addition to Prizm, a set that has got to be recognized here is 2021 Donruss Optic Basketball. The Donruss brand has been a part of the trading card industry since the 1950s and even though it was acquired by Panini America nearly a decade ago, it still seems to stand apart as its own independent brand. And with the power and licensing rights enjoyed by the Panini, Donruss has now become and a major player in both the basketball and football card industry. The availability of packs and boxes is pending the August 2021 release.
The final basketball card pack that comes to mind is 2021 Panini Select. The collection was introduced in the same year as Panini Prizm and has risen to great prominence over recent years. The Prizm and Select sets are similar in many ways but Panini Select is more scarce than its cousin and many folks within the industry think it may end up replacing Prizm as Panini’s flagship line. Only time will tell if this comes to fruition but it certainly wouldn’t surprise us. Pending July 2021 release.
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2020-2021 Panini Prizm (Check Price)
The great identifier is of course the Panini Prizm logo that is prominently displayed on the card. As far as looks go, most card designs are careful to match the color of the layout with the color jersey or team colors worn by the player. This can be seen in the yellow layout matching with the yellow jersey worn by Anthony Davis in the Sensational Signature Prizm card shown above. Consider picking up a Cello or Hobby pack if you’re feeling lucky!
2020-2021 Donruss Optics (Pre-Order Now)
When you take a gander at the 2021 Donruss Optics basketball card samples provided by Panini, it’s hard not to be immediately drawn in by its lively and funky design. Just like Panini Prizm, Optics does a great job with the color schemes as you can see in the Karl Anthony Towns Elite Dominators Optics card shown here. Optics is known for having some of the most sought after cards year in year and the 2021 line will be no different. Hobby Boxes are now available to pre-order!
2020-2021 Panini Select (Pre-Order Now)
The quality of Panini Select should be noticeable as soon as you open your pack as the brand has delivered some of the highest quality basketball cards over the past few years. While the collection won’t be out until later this, the sample images Panini has provided show the tried and true sophisticated patterns featured on the outer layers of the card. Additionally, it looks like we’ll get a nice blast of gold that works as a border for the action shots of the base cards. And let’s not forget about those inserts! There will be a good amount available and if they are anything like that sample design of the Trae Young En Fuego card consider us pleased.
What are the prices of the best basketball card packs to buy in 2021?
This of course depends on the brand and the type of pack you buy. Panini Prizm is the only of the 3 that is available so far and Cello packs run around the $60 range. Meanwhile, you should be able to find sealed Hobby packs for about twice that amount. As far as Select goes, Hobby Boxes are pre-selling for around $1,000 and there are 12 packs included in each box. Donruss on the other hand has Optics Hobby Boxes pre-selling for around $700 with 20 packs per box.
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2021 Panini Prizm Lebron James Kobe Tribute (Check Price)
We’ve said it before and will say it again, this is a MUST OWN card. From the looks to the significance of the two legendary players, everything about this card reeks of collectibility. We really love the standard Silver Prizm for around $300 but if you want more skin in the game look for that Prizm for around ten times that amount or more depending on the condition.
2021 Panini Select: Pending Release July 2021
2021 Donruss Optic: Pending Release August 2021