One of the hottest items so far in the 2020-21 NBA season is, you guessed it, a LaMelo Ball rookie card. Why you ask? Because just like his name, the kid can flat out BALL. In his first and only season in the Australian National Basketball League, Ball averaged a crisp 17 points per game to go along with a jaw-dropping 6.8 assists. Add to that nearly 2 steals per game and you have yourself a performance that was good enough to earn the youngster NBL Rookie of the Year.
And right when he found himself pulling away from the field in the race for the REAL Rookie of the Year award, fractured wrist. Ouch. Before the devastating injury, LaMelo sat at the top of many of the sharps’ lists ROY lists. However, right when we all thought he was done for the season, made it back just in time for an end-of-the-season playoff run. Say goodbye to your Rookie of the Year aspirations, Anthony Edwards!
Injury or not, LaMelo has proved he’s a special talent that is here to stay. And if he can take care of unfinished business from 2021 and propel the Hornets into the playoffs next season? An already beefed-up LaMelo Ball rookie card market is sure to reach new heights! Here are some of his best first-year options.
Speaking of the NBA Rookie of the Year Award: Check out last year’s winner’s Ja Morant Rookie Card Hot List!
LaMelo Ball Rookie Card: First to Market Investment Options
2020-21 Panini Contenders Draft Picks (Check Price)
Easily one of the most valuable we’ve seen so far. The card features Ball breaking down the side of the court with his eyes focused on the hoop. There’s plenty of different “Ticket” options to choose from and the card comes available with an autograph and in various “Prizm” formats. In addition to the card shown above, there’s also one featuring Ball casually dripping down the court. Either way, the cards in this set are definitely winners. Just like Lamelo Ball.
2020-2021 Panini Prizm Draft Picks (Check Price)
Remember the card we just talked about with LeMelo casually dribbling down the court. Well look above and you’ll see the EXACT same photo. For some reason, Panini decided to use it in both the Contenders and Prizm Draft Picks sets. Weird. Were there not enough pictures of LaMelo Ball in the public domain?? At any rate, there’s something besides the picture that the Prizm Draft Picks set has in common with the Contenders. They both offer amazing LaMelo Ball rookie card options. Go get one!
2018 Leaf Metal Draft (Check Price)
While not a true rookie card, we’re always impressed by Leaf’s ability to be one of the first sets to capture the best up and coming talent. Whether you go with a Prizm parallel or a Prized Rookie insert, you’ve got yourself a card capable of commanding over$1,000 on the open market. Just think about what it’ll command if he wins Rookie of the Year!
2020-21 Panini Immaculate (Check Price)
Our favorite in this set is the Rookie Patch card shown above. With very few LaMelo Ball rookie card options available so far, it’s nice to see one with the ole’ patchwork. If you’re looking for a more moderate investment, this is your card. Plenty should be available for under $500.
2020-21 Panini Flawless (Check Price)
Panini Flawless is always one of the last “collegiate” sets to be released before the regular sets start rolling out. And boy was is it worth the wait. Especially if you have a decent amount to spend. There are numerous higher-end LaMelo Ball rookie card options now available like the RPA Rookie Patch Logo 1/1 that sold for over $10,000 soon after some lucky collector pulled it out of a pack.
Don’t want to spend ten large? No problem, there are some less expensive options like the Gold Rookie Patch /10 that is hovering around the $2,500 price point at the moment. Heck, there are even some great options for just a couple hundred like the Jumbo Patch 17/20 shown above. If LaMelo continues his solid play it’s not about how much you can afford to spend anyways. It’s about how much you can stomach missing out on!
Lamelo Ball Rookie Card Hornets Jersey First Releases
Yep, they’re finally here. LaMelo Ball rookie cards where he’s actually an NBA player! Now to be clear, the following sets aren’t known for being Panini’s best options. However, they’re the first to arrive featuring LaMelo Ball in a Charlotte uniform sp there’s certainly something to be said for that!
2020-21 Panini Crowne Royal (Check Price)
The KABOOM! insert now appears in an upstart set offered by Panini called Crowne Royal. The theme of the set has a regal touch to it but you wouldn’t know it by the high-flying in-your-face insert you see above. As far as LaMaelo cards go, this one is the most valuable from the collection. However, there are plenty of more casual investment options included the base cards, parraleles. and the Air to the Thrown insert. No matter which way you go it looks like a win to us!
2020-21 Panini Prizm (Check Price)
Not to be confused with the “Draft Picks” collection we covered earlier, the classic Panini Prizm is the flagship set of NBA cards. Here do we not only get to see Ball in his Hornets jersey, we also get that all-important RC logo in the top corner. As far as value is concerned, we’re really getting up there with some of the cards in this set. Even some of the less common parallels that haven’t been graded and don’t have an autograph can still easily bring in well over $5,000. Don’t have that kind of jack to spend on a LaMelo Ball rookie card? Seek out one of the base cards for a fraction of the price.
2020-21 Panini Instant (Check Price)
A card featuring LaMelo looking for an open teammate while casually putting the ball through the legs. Prices depend on which parallel you get with the less common usually being the more valuable. The base rookie card featured above should be available for less than $50 if you want to wait for the BIG Panini sets to begin rolling out before you open up the war chest (like 2020-21 Panini Prizm Basketball!).
2020-21 NBA Hoops (Check Price)
Another set that’s not going to feature the most valuable LaMelo Ball rookie card options. However, just like the set above, there are some cards that’ll bring in some decent dough. In general, though, this is a set for casual fans who want to spend a few bucks to see their favorite players in their new gear.
2020-2021 Donruss (Check Price)
A new arrival that’s absolutely loaded with quality LaMelo Ball rookie cards. And the most valuable as far as the post-draft sets go on this list. For example, there are redemption cards alone going for more than $10,000 at the moment. Wow. However, there’s still plenty of room for the casual investor. Take the card above, for instance. Couple of hundred and it should be yours.
Lamelo Ball Rookie Card Autograph Availablity
All of the sets we’ve mentioned in this post are available with LaMelo’s signature. You’ll just have to buck up a bit if you want one. But you know what they say, the more you invest, the more you stand to make. 1 year from now those could be some true words of wisdom. Do your due diligence and choose wisely!
Speaking of Lamelo Ball’s autograph, it’s interesting. To say the least. Now, to be fair, you can easily tell the first name says LaMelo. But that last name? Sorry LaMelo, but it could really use some work. You’re a future NBA star, not a doctor. If you’re reading this please consider touching it up a bit for next year’s round of cards! You’ll thank us later.
Question of the day: Will you be satisfied if LaMelo Ball has a rookie season comparable to that of Kendrick Nunn?
Lamelo Ball Rookie Card Investment Strategy
Short (1 year or less)
He won the NBA Rookie of the Year and should be plenty hungry for an even bigger performance in 2022 for his encore. As we eluded to earlier, if LaMelo leads the Hornets to the playoffs next season we could see these cards heading towards the moon. If he somehow leads them on a deep playoff run? Forget the moon, next stop Kuiper Belt. And even if he doesn’t make it next year, a strong performance in 2022 should lead you to some very green pastures. Either way, we’d surprise if either short-term play doesn’t pan out brilliantly. 9.5/10
Medium (1 to 5 years)
Before we saw what LaMelo did in 2020-21, we were slightly more cautious about this approach. Not anymore. Invest with confidence with even more success in the upcoming years in mind. Plenty of reasons to suspect a VERY nice payoff at the end. 9.5
Long (5 years plus)
Let’s see how the next few years go. If he turns out to be one of the league’s top players it’s definitely something to consider. N/A
Why stop at LaMelo Ball? Here are some other options to diversify your NBA card portfolio with!