Luka Doncic Rookie Card Market Guide & Values
Posted on 10/24/2022
What You Need to Know About Luka Doncic Rookie Cards
Luka Doncic was selected with the third pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and exploded onto the scene as one of the most dominant players in the league.
Due to the Doncic's quick rise to stardom, it is only natural that his rookie card has become one of the most valuable in the hobby. And while it is impossible to predict what is to come for Doncic if he continues to establish himself as one of the league's best for years to come, it is fair to assume his rookie cards will continue to increase in value.
Luka Doncic's Career
Luka Doncic's dominance in the basketball world started at a young age. The 6'7" Slovenian began his professional basketball career at only 16 years old when he signed for Real Madrid, becoming the youngest to ever play for the club. He spent two seasons with the team and was a key contributor to their success. By the time he was 18 years old, he was already one of the best players in Europe as he led Real Madrid to the 2018 Euro League Title and secured the Euro League MVP award.
After his success overseas, Doncic declared for the 2018 NBA Draft, where he was selected by the Atlanta Hawks before immediately getting traded to the Dallas Mavericks.
In Doncic's first season in the NBA, he was unanimously selected to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and took home Rookie of the Year honors.
Five seaons into his NBA career, Doncic is still only 23 years old, but he's already one of the best players in the league. He's averaged 26 PPG, 8.5 RPG and 7.9 APG so far in his career, almost averaging a triple-double. That's a stellar stat line for any NBA player, let alone someone as young as Doncic.
While Luka may be young, his potential is clear as day, and his rookie cards are already some of the most valuable in the hobby. So, let's dive into some of his cards and evaluate if they're worth the investment.
Are Luka Doncic Rookie Cards a Good Investment?
While it is clear Luka Doncic is already one of the NBA's top players, the question remains, are Luka Doncic rookie cards a good investment?
A lot more goes into the value of a card than just the player's career success, including less tangible aspects, such as the athlete's popularity, the team they play for, and even the card itself.
When it comes to Doncic, he has a lot working in his favor. He is already one of the most popular players in the league and has a substantial international following. His native country of Slovenia is basketball crazy, and he has a huge fanbase across Europe.
In fact, Doncic was named to the cover of the NBA 2k22 video game, which shows his global popularity. He also signed the largest rookie supermax contract extension in the history of the NBA, inking a 5-year deal worth $207 million.
To best exemplify whether or not a Luka Doncic rookie card is a good investment, in 2021, a 1/1 Luka Doncic card sold for a record-breaking $4.6 million. At the time, this was the highest-selling basketball card in existence, and this purchase happened when Doncic had just completed his third season in the NBA.
A sale of this magnitude may be expected from an NBA Hall of Famer such as Michael Jordan, but to come from an athlete only three seasons into their career raised many eyebrows in the sports card community.
The sale showed that interest in Doncic cards is sky high and that his collectibles can be worth a pretty penny. So, it is fair to say that Luka Doncic's rookie cards are solid investments. However, as with any investment, risk is involved, especially with a player as young as Doncic.
Most Expensive Luka Doncic Rookie Cards
Let's look at which Luka Doncic rookie cards are the most valuable and then touch on more affordable options to accommodate all types of card investors.
2018-19 Panini National Treasures Patch Autograph (RPA) Luke Doncic #127 ($570,000)
Rookie cards with autographs and game-worn jersey fabric make for a high-price tag. Cards from Panini's National Treasures collection are no different. 2018-19 Panini National Treasures Basketball's Rookie Patch Autographs are among the set's rarest and most sough-after cards. As far as rookie cards go, these autographs usually come with on-card signatures and large swatches of game-worn material. According to Panini, these relics are the only jumbo patch autographs that collectors will find in their 2018-19 basketball products.
This card features a beautiful on-card autograph from the young Slovenian superstar. The front of the card showcases a sharp image of Doncic in his Mavericks jersey with a piece of his game-worn jersey to the right. The back has the Dallas Mavericks crest with some information on Doncic's first career game with the Mavericks.
With only three of these cards being given a perfect grade, a pristine Luka Doncic Patch Autograph sold at auction for a staggering $570,000.
2018-19 Panini Contenders Luka Doncic #122 Autograph ($111,000)
The Rookie Ticket Autograph inserts have become the most sought-after cards within the Contenders set, regardless of the sport. The Contenders series releases on-card signatures for the top draft picks from each class, and with Doncic being the third overall pick, he made the list. The Parallels from this collection include the Cracked Ice (/25) and the Championship Ticket (1/1). There are also Chrome-based premium cards and other variations that add rarity and increase demand for this set.
A base autograph Doncic rookie card from this set sold recently for just $7,000. However, like most of Doncic's rookie cards, some versions and parallels drive the prices up. For instance, the Cracked Ice Autograph Luka Doncic card sold at auction for $111,000. This shows how popular these cards are along with their commanding price tags.
2018-19 Panini Prizm Luka Doncic #280 ($103,000)
Panini Prizm is one of the most popular annual basketball sets to collect. The bright and flashy designs and the array of parallels and inserts make this set a favorite among collectors. Doncic's base rookie in this set is card #280 and can be found relatively easily. However, several parallels have been selling for top dollar as well.
The Blue Ice Luka Doncic parallel (97/99) recently sold at auction for $103,000. This is one of the most popular Prizm parallels, and with Doncic being such a superstar, it is easy to see why this card would command such a high price tag.
The card features a colorful and bright blue ice design, with Luka pulling off his signature fadeaway. Getting your hands on one of these cards will be difficult, but it may be an excellent investment if you are lucky enough to find one.
2018 Panini Court Kings Luka Doncic #201 ($20,000)
The Panini Court Kings are some of the most artistic trading cards available on the market. This collection is a must-have for any art lover, loaded with graffiti designs and abstract art. The 2018 Court Kings Luka Doncic rookie card is no different, with a beautiful design on the front featuring Doncic, with a stylized artistic background.
The base set includes a lineup of rookies with four different designs per player. Rookie I cards are the most common, and Rookie IV cards are the rarest, averaging two rookie cards per box.
This set's top Luka Doncic sale went for $20,000 and was perfectly graded. These are beautiful cards, and their price aligns with their uniqueness.
2018 Panini Select Rookie Jersey Autographs Luka Doncic #LDC ($4,700)
As far as cards go that boast both an autograph and fabric piece, the Panini Select Rookie Jersey Autographs are more reasonable than some of the other cards on this list. The Select set has long been a favorite among collectors due to its affordability and the fact that it is released early in the season, making it easy to find rookies before they explode in price.
This collection's most expensive Luka Doncic sale was $4,700 for a perfect grade. However, there have been sales for ungraded versions in the $2,000 range. This shows the potential for these cards, as they are more affordable than some of the other options, but still offer an excellent return on investment.
Most Affordable Luka Doncic Rookie Cards
While it would be amazing to get your hands on any of the above Luka Doncic rookie cards, it is unfortunately not a reality for most investors. If you want to get in on the Luka Doncic hype though, here are some solid cards that come at more affordable prices.
2018 Panini Donruss Luka Doncic #177 ($200)
The Donruss set is a fan favorite due to its affordability and the wide array of cards available. The 2018-19 version had a jumbo format that was made up of 10 packs per box, with 30 cards per pack. Due to this, many Luka Doncic cards are on the market, which leads to a more affordable price point.
The 2018 Donruss Luka Doncic rookie card can be found for around $200. This is a great entry-level card for investors looking to get their feet wet with Luka Doncic rookie cards.
2018 Panini Threads Luka Doncic #3 ($200)
Consider this Panini Threads card if you're a Luka Doncic rookie card collector on a budget. There are plenty of options, including the Next Wave Dazzle insert. Yet investors looking to make massive gains should be cautious with this card.
While there is potential it increases in value over time, the fact that you can pick up a perfectly graded version for as little as $200 shows that investors should temper expectations. However, this is a great place to start for fans looking to get in on the Luka Doncic hype train.
2018 Panini Hoops Luka Doncic #268 ($110)
The Panini Hoops set includes another Luka Doncic rookie card that is very affordable for all investors. One of the main reasons these cards fetch a lower price point is how common it is for a perfectly graded version. The strong foundation set in 2018-19 Panini NBA Hoops Basketball is led by young player talent.
While the parallels and autographs are more expensive than the base cards, the base set is still an excellent investment for any fan. Luka Doncic Panini Hoops cards have sold for as low as $110, making them one of the most affordable options for collectors.
Investing in Luka Doncic Rookie Cards
There are several reasons why Luka Doncic's rookie cards are so popular and valuable. His historic rookie season, his exciting style of play and the fact that he is already one of the best players in the league today at such a young age all contribute to the high prices his cards are commanding.
Doncic is already in the Top 10 players of all-time for the most triple-doubles in NBA history. At only 23 years old, he could shatter records as his career advances.
If you want to invest in a Luka Doncic rookie card, be prepared to pay a premium, as these cards are not cheap. However, with the right research and purchase, you could see an excellent return on your investment down the road. Happy collecting!
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