On Fire: Damian Lillard’s Officially Licensed NBA Rookie Cards from Panini America

December 14, 2012

In its purest form, a player’s Rookie Card marks a special moment in his professional career. In most cases, it represents a transition from amateur to professional sports, and highlights the first available trading cards of draft picks and rookie free agents in their team uniforms. There’s a host of reasons why a player’s official Rookie Cards are important. Most notably is that the cards are the first officially licensed cards manufactured and released during a player’s first season in their respective league.

As we’ve recently seen, NBA Rookie Cards continue to take the market by storm. In a recent PPI edition, we examined hot NBA  commodities like Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving and others who have seen their Panini America Rookie Cards explode in value. Currently, Panini America is the ONLY company authorized to manufacture Officially Licensed NBA Trading Cards. That means that you can find official NBA Rookie Cards of your favorite rookies only in Panini America products. One NBA rookie who continues to make headlines on the court is the super-talented Damian Lillard. The Portland Trail Blazer’s rookie sensation is off to a smoking start this year, leading all rookies in scoring (18.4 ppg) while becoming one of the best all-around point guards in the league.

And while Lillard continues to light up the scoreboard, his Panini America trading cards continue to command phenomenal sales on the secondary market. In this very special edition of the Panini Price Index, we examine the progression and price index of Lillard’s officially licensed NBA rookie trading cards.

Lillard’s first officially licensed NBA Rookie Cards appeared in both 2012-13 NBA Hoops Basketball and 2012-13 Prestige Basketball, showcasing the talented point guard with a Trail Blazers Draft Day basketball and hat of his new team. He also appears in a popular insert within Hoops aptly titled “Draft Night” which showcases a clean design and fun pose. Lillard’s Rookie Cards from those early releases are perfect for young collectors and fans, easily found in packs or on the secondary market for a reasonable price.

The low-numbered color parallels in 2012-13 Totally Certified Basketball have been a huge hit for Lillard fans as well. His Totally Gold Rookie Parallel (#’d 7/25) recently sold for $355 while several of his Totally Blue Rookie Parallels numbered to 299 are selling for more than $40 a pop.

But Lillard’s most sought-after officially licensed NBA rookie trading cards thus far can be found in 2012-13 Prizm Basketball. The Gold Prizm Parallels limited to just 10 copies are currently the toughest and most-coveted pulls in the set. Three of Lillard’s Prizm Gold Parallel have sold for more than $1,000 each. The highest of those came on a Gold Parallel #10/10 which sold for a whopping $2,499.99. The next number down in the lot, the one numbered 9/10, sold for just $500 less, commanding $1999.99. The Gold Parallel numbered 5/10 also checked in at a staggering $1,100. And last, but certainly not least, at least 10 of his base Prizm parallels cards have netted more than $140 each, including one that sold for $225.

And just in case you’re  looking to get in on the madness and want to procure an officially licensed Panini America NBA rookie trading card of Lillard, we’ve found some cards here that might pique your interest. Or you can take a peek at the gallery below to see first-hand some of feeding frenzy Lillard has created so far this season.