Sports Card Strategy: When To Buy 2021 NBA Rookie Cards

I've always been a huge sports fan, but at age 40 I'm having the most fun in my entire life following professional sports.


My re-entry into the hobby of collecting sports cards this year.

Case in point, the 2021 NBA Draft. I wanted to watch the entire thing for the first time in my life.

And I did.

And it was super fun.

I wanted to hear Jay Bilas and the other experts talk about each pick. I learned that the 2021 NBA Draft could potentially (several years from now), be seen as on par with the 1984, 1996 and 2003 Drafts.

I was pumped my Pistons had the first pick and took Cade Cunningham, but had it not been for the hobby, I may not have even known about Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga and others.

But the excitement that the hobby has infused into me has to be perfectly offset by the business person strategist in me also.

What I mean is, I've been so excited about sports and sports cards, that I definitely made a ton of purchases on emotion over the last 8 months, and now it's time to learn from some of my mistakes.

Well, maybe "mistakes" is harsh. Let's call them learnings.

Learning Number 1: Topps NOW and Panini Instant are for collectors only, not investors or flippers.

Learning Number 2: College uniforms are not resale (secondary market) friendly.

Learning Number 3: There are so many different kinds of rookie cards, that only a few specific ones hold real value. For my NFL version of this, click here.

Takeaway: I will be reminding myself to be extra patient, and exercise maximum restraint on buying 2021-22 NBA Rookies. I want them all, and passing on Panini Instant Draft Night was hard for me, but I'm glad I did.

I will only be going after Panini Prizm and Prizm Silver versions of Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green and a few other guys.

I will pass on Instant, Hoops, Donruss, Select, and a ton of other high priced Panini Releases.

My money will go into Prizm, and it will likely happen on (get a free $10 when you sign up using the promo code "nooffseason")

The proof is in the data, and after going back in past year's basketball cards, Prizm is the only brand sure to hold value.

The reason I like StarStock, is you can get "pre-graded" raw cards. Look for StarStock A graded cards, as a likely avenue to be a PSA 10, or SGC 10 or at least 9.5.

This is a safer bet than buying raw from a peer online not really knowing the condition of the raw card.

So as much as I wanted to drop the $9.99 on a Panini Instant Draft Night Cade Cunningham Rookie Card, the reality is that card would have been super hard to sell for any kind of profit.

This content and video is brought to you by by Sports Card Investor. The best place to track the data of your collection, learn who to buy low and when to sell high. Use the promo code "nooffseason" to save 20%, or click here -

Paul Hickey is a Digital Creator, who builds WordPress websites for small businesses, runs an eCommerce Sports Cards and Digital Collectibles business at, authors books and creates digital art in the form of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens).

In each of his entrepreneurial endeavors, he believes it's important to create a community. He strives to do this by creating helpful content for his audience (community members) to learn about the topics he's interested in.

This is why he creates content on the following topics:

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