Jayson Tatum Rookie Cards: Values and Collectibility
Posted on 11/2/2022
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum has been an elite player at every level he's played at throughout his young basketball career. He was a star in high school, one of the nation's elite college players and is now one of the NBA's brightest young talents. But how does Tatum's ascension into the NBA's elite correspond to his rookie cards and their values? This guide will give both sports card collectors and investors a better idea of what rookie cards of Jayson Tatum they should target.
Who Is Jayson Tatum?
By the time Jayson Tatum was drafted into the NBA, he was already a basketball star. In high school, he was selected for the McDonald’s All-American team. In 2016, he was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year for leading the Duke University Blue Devils to an ACC tournament championship.
In 2017, the Boston Celtics selected Tatum with the third overall pick in the NBA Draft. Shortly after his NBA debut, Tatum scored a season-high 24 points in a win against the New York Knicks and was selected as the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December. During the postseason, he became the first Celtics rookie since Larry Bird in 1980 to score 25 or more points in a playoff game. He was also the youngest player in the NBA to score 20 (or more) points in four straight playoff games. By the end of the playoffs, Tatum was the only rookie (other than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) to score 20 or more points in 10 games during a debut playoff series. Due to his high-scoring rookie season, Tatum was selected for the NBA All-Rookie Team.
After being named to the NBA All-Star Team in 2019, Tatum scored a career-best 41 points during a 114-112 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. The following year, he achieved a career-high 60 points, tying with Larry Bird for the highest points total recorded by a Celtics player.
In 2020, Tatum was selected as the Eastern Conference Finals MVP after scoring an average of 25 points, 8 rebounds and 5.5 assists during the playoff series. Later that year, Tatum was selected to play for Team USA during the 2020 Summer Olympics, held in 2021 due to COVID-19. He became the second-highest scorer on the team behind Kevin Durant and helped lead them to a gold medal victory.
In May 2022, Tatum was named to the All-NBA First Team for the first time in his career, making him the first Celtics player to get an All-NBA First Team nod since Kevin Garnett (2008). Tatum had a breakout postseason in the playoffs, scoring 46 points in Game 6 against Milwaukee, and averaging 25 points a game against Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals. He averaged 25.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game in Boston's 24-game playoff run and took home the first-ever Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP award.
During the first months of the 2022-2023 NBA season, Tatum's stellar performances led analysts to predict he could walk away with the MVP award for the year. The Celtics forward continues to live up to expectations as Boston currently has the best record in the league, as of mid-January 2023. Could Tatum and his teammates take the next step after losing in the Finals last season and bring another title back home to Boston later this year? If so, Tatum's rookie card values could continue to climb.
Are Jayson Tatum Rookie Cards Valuable?
Because of his status as a star college prospect, Jayson Tatum had more than 30 rookie cards issued during the 2017-2018 season. With so many options, some will inevitably be worth more than others. Several insert cards, signature cards and limited-edition parallels continue to perform extremely well on the collectors’ market, and these are always a desirable addition to any collection.
Investment Potential for Jayson Tatum Rookie Cards
Since his spectacular rookie season, Tatum has continued to post career-high scores and record-breaking numbers, proving he has what it takes to become one of the great players of his generation. Thanks to his incredible performances, collector interest in his rookie cards remain high. In addition, Tatum belongs to one of basketball’s most popular franchises, which adds another collector demographic to the market. Celtic fans and fans of promising new players should keep prices healthy for Tatum cards, especially for his first-year rookie cards.
Top Jayson Tatum Rookie Cards
Among Tatum’s 30+ rookie issues, here are some top cards to look for:
- 2017 Panini National Treasures #103 Jayson Tatum Autograph Patch #/99
- 2017 Panini Prizm Blue #16 Jayson Tatum
- 2017 Panini Immaculate #126 Jayson Tatum Autograph Patch #/99
- 2017 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket #103 Jayson Tatum Autograph #/125
- 2017 Panini Select Jayson Tatum
- 2017 Donruss Optic Rated Rookie #198 Jayson Tatum
- 2017 Panini Cornerstones Downtown #DT11 Jayson Tatum
- 2017 Panini Prizm #16 Jayson Tatum
Here’s how values for Jayson Tatum rookie cards are trending on tracking sites like SportsCardsPro, PriceGuide.Cards and Sports Card Investor. These sites are constantly updated, however, so be aware that prices can change on any given day.
2017 Panini National Treasures #103 Jayson Tatum Autograph Patch #/99 ($80,049)
As a premium quality card, National Treasures is always a favorite option for collectors who aren’t on a budget. This card features an action shot of Tatum next to a huge hand-signed autograph. Below, there’s a large embedded jersey swatch framed in silver.
At PriceGuide.Cards, Ungraded trends at an average low price of $3,098 and a top price of $9,999. Graded trends at an average low price of $12,979 and a top price of $80,049 (grades unspecified).
2017 Panini Prizm Blue #16 Jayson Tatum ($19,999)
Printed on Prizm’s classic chromium laminated cardstock, this fan favorite shows an image of Tatum before he started his dribble. The Base card was issued in large numbers (which keeps prices down), but fans can also look for one of the many limited-edition parallel versions. These include a Silver Prizm version that features a pale green and silver Deco-style background with the silver Prizm logo at the top.
For the Prizm Blue, prices trend at a low of $1,899 and a top price of $19,999. For Red White and Blue prices trend at a low of $180 and a top price of $1,450 (grades unspecified). For Ruby Wave, prices trend at a low of $390 and a top price of $4,500 (grades unspecified).
2017 Panini Immaculate #126 Jayson Tatum Autograph Patch #/99 ($8,300)
Limited to just 99 issues, this premier card features an action shot of Tatum moving the ball, set against a Celtics green background. There’s a large area below where the card is hand-signed, and a jersey swatch is embedded at the upper right, below the “Immaculate Collection” logo.
At PriceGuide.Cards, Ungraded trends at an average price of $2,260 and a top price of $7,900. Graded trends at an average price of $3,814 and a top price of $8,300 (grades unspecified).
2017 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket #103 Jayson Tatum Autograph #/125 ($7,499)
This card, limited to only 125 copies, features Panini’s imaginative Rookie Ticket graphics at the right, highlighted by Jayson Tatum's name and an image of a game ticket. It's flanked by an excellent full-length shot of Tatum ready to attempt a pass.
SportsCardsPro is reporting that Grade 9 trends at $1,018 and Gem Mint trends at $7,499.
2017 Panini Select Jayson Tatum ($5,467)
Panini’s 2017-2018 Select Basketball set included 300 cards divided into three subsets: Courtside, Premier Level and Concourse. Each features a striking action shot of Tatum on court with gold, green and black graphics, or multiple coppery refractor colors. Limited edition parallels also feature signature colors, such as Silver Prizm.
At PriceGuide.Cards, Premier Level Ungraded trends for an average price of $46 and a top price of $705. Graded trends at an average price of $165 and a top price of $5,467. For Concourse, Ungraded trends for an average price of $41 and a top price of $308. Graded trends at an average price of $120 and a top price of $471 (grades unspecified).
For Select Courtside, Sports Card Investor shows prices trending at a low of $20.95 and a top price of $95 (grades unspecified).
2017 Donruss Optic Rated Rookie #198 Jayson Tatum ($4,800)
Donruss Rated Rookies are always an indispensable part of any rookie card collection, and this Optichrome version doesn’t disappoint. It features a full shot of Tatum posing for the camera in his green Celtics jersey. The image is set against a dark background with the famed “Rated Rookie” logo at the top left.
There's several parallels of this card, including the Holo that can fetch upward of $4,800, according to Sports Card Investor. There are also several other different colored parallels that command top dollar.
Those that don't have thousands to spend should go after the base Optic #198. At SportsCardsPro, Ungraded trends at $31, Grade 7 at $26, Grade 8 at $29 and Grade 9 at $49. Grade 9.5 trends at $78 and Gem Mint at $144.
2017 Panini Cornerstones Downtown #DT11 Jayson Tatum ($4,600)
One of Tatum’s most popular insert cards, this rare gem was included in the Panini 2017-2018 Cornerstones Basketball set. It shows an artist’s rendering of Tatum shooting the ball, backed by an illustration of downtown Boston that comes complete with a lobster, clam and a bowl of clam chowder.
At SportsCardsPro, Ungraded trends at $4,600, Grade 8 at $1,925, Grade 9 at $2,693 and Gem Mint at $3,817.
2017 Panini Prizm #16 Jayson Tatum ($210)
As previously mentioned, the base Prizm cards were made in greater numbers. So, they're easier to track down and typically cost much less than Prizm inserts and parallels. And that stays true for the 2017 Panini Prizm #16 Jayson Tatum base rookie card as well.
For the base card, Sports Card Investor shows prices trending at a low of $62 and a top price of $4,999. Additionally, SportsCardPro reported Ungraded versions at around $75 and Mint condition versions at around $210.
Considering many of Jayson Tatum's rookie card inserts and parallels can fetch thousands, this is a great card for any level of a sports card enthusiast to add to their collection.
Where Can I Find Jayson Tatum Rookie Cards?
You can find Jayson Tatum rookie cards and memorabilia at sports shows, memorabilia retailers and online auctions. Here’s a list of some of the most popular auction sites for sports cards:
- Heritage Auctions
- SCP Auctions
- Memory Lane
Sports memorabilia shows offer a great opportunity to own specific cards. You can find shows coming to your area by searching Google, collectors’ forums and social media sites.
How Are Jayson Tatum Rookie Cards Graded?
Sports card certifiers use a universal numeric grading system that’s recognized by dealers, appraisers and collectors. Grades range from Ungraded to Perfect 10, and are calculated according to the following standards:
Perfect 10: The best a card can be, with Gem Mint scores across all four criteria: surface, edges, centering and corners. These cards are perfect even when viewed under 10x magnification.
Gem Mint: Perfect, with bright colors, perfect centering, undamaged edges, sharp corners and no condition or manufacturing issues or flaws.
Grade 9.5: A Near Mint card with one minor flaw or condition issue.
Grade 9: Excellent, with a few minor condition issues or flaws
Grades 8 and below: These cards are graded lower because of production flaws or condition issues.
Ungraded: Never been graded.
Raw: Just removed from its packaging and new to the market.
Sports card values are determined according to three components: condition, rarity and collector demand. Of the three, collector demand is the most difficult to predict because it can change at any time. A once-desirable card may plummet in value if collectors lose their interest, while a more common card may catapult if collectors suddenly rediscover that player. Likewise, escalating auction prices due to bidding wars can also cause card prices to spike. And a rare card in Gem Mint condition may be difficult to sell, while a lesser-grade card that’s more common may suddenly find favor with fans and soar in price.
Should I Get My Sports Cards Graded?
CSG's professional grading can provide authenticity to a collection and enhance its quality level. When cards are graded, a certified expert examines them carefully for any manufacturing flaws or condition issues and grades them according to an internationally recognized numeric system. After the card is graded, the information is entered into an international database as a permanent record.
Typically, graded cards are much easier to sell or trade than ungraded, and they’ll often bring in higher selling prices on the collectors’ market. If you don’t plan on selling your cards, grading can still be beneficial because it authenticates your collection, giving it an established quality level that everyone in the industry will recognize.
By getting your cards graded, you can take pride in a collection that’s certified authentic and rated at an established quality level that future generations will always recognize from a trusted collectibles company. For more information, join CSG.
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