A complete guide to the value and rarity of LaMelo Ball rookie cards
LaMelo Ball is one of the most anticipated prospects in the 2020 NBA Draft class, and as a result, the merchandise surrounding his likeness is likely to skyrocket in popularity. The value of a LaMelo Ball rookie card could be one of the highest of this year’s rookie class.
Following the explosion of the basketball cards community throughout 2019 and 2020 spurred by Luka Doncic, Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, and a general shortage in supply brought on by the elongated 2019-20 season, Ball’s rookie cards will be a great litmus test for the future of the hobby.
And so far, the litmus test indicates that there’s a lot of interest in rookie cards for exciting young talent.
Credit to Ball for jumping right into his career and performing out of the gate. After just 14 games he was averaging 11.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game. His court vision, love for passing, and point guard skills in a larger-than-average frame for the position has given him a leg-up on some of his defenders, even as a rookie. Clearly, he’s a natural, and he’s already shifting the reputation on what basketball looks like in Charlotte.
All of a sudden, Charlotte looks like a potential threat. After Kemba Walker departed, it looks as if Michael Jordan has finally gotten his star protege as an NBA owner.
With so many cards to collect, fans may be interested in what cards are best when it comes to LaMelo Ball rookie cards and which ones they should collect. While that answer depends largely on your personal collection and motivations for collecting, this guide should give a solid baseline of knowledge regarding what to look for in the market.
As always, getting a card graded is one of the best ways to increase the value of an already rare card. Here’s a guide on how to know when you should get basketball cards graded.
For a look at full checklists, Panini’s release page has a full listing for basketball card collectors.
LaMelo Ball rookie card value
As with any basketball card, the value of a specific card will depend on its rarity and overall hype within the collector community. Cards that are of sought-after parallels (and especially those that are numbered and/or autographed) are worth the most. The lower the number, typically the more valuable a card.
While cards fluctuate wildly in value depending on a player’s performance and the general widespread market interest, LaMelo’s cards have tremendous upside and could be worth collecting throughout his rookie season. This guide will go over some highlights from the major products.
Let’s dive in!
Panini Contenders Draft Picks 2020
This box, which first sold in October 2020, was the very first time collectors could get their hands on cards including the 2020 NBA Draft class. While this class wasn’t as hyped as years prior due to a lack of stars all-around, it still has the potential for long-term rewards. The motif of the box being college and prospect-oriented led to some really fun cards including the Campus ID card that some collectors may really enjoy.
As always, anything that is numbered or autographed is almost instantly worth more, especially if it’s also PSA graded.
All photos here came from Panini’s blog, The Knight’s Lance has many more images of other cards and prospects from this product.
If you’d like to buy an individual LaMelo Ball card from the Panini Contenders Draft Picks box, this is what’s available on the aftermarket.
This box features some interesting LaMelo Ball inserts like Campus ID and Playing the Numbers Game. This product had autographs from a wide array of prospects prior to the draft, LaMelo being one of them.
LaMelo Ball rookie card: Contenders Draft Picks parallels
For LaMelo Ball rookie cards in this product with parallels, here is how the numbering shakes out:
- Base: Unnumbered
- Red: Unnumbered
- Green: Unnumbered
- Purple: #/99
- Blue: #/99
- Cracked Ice: #/23
- Gold Cracked Ice: #/23
LaMelo Ball rookie card: Panini Contenders Draft Picks Tickets
This product’s best cards are all “tickets”, taking on the look and feel of a stub to get into a game or event. The motif hinges largely on the fact that the draft is the “ticket in” to the league for each and every one of these prospects.
The rarity goes up at each level starting with the Tournament Ticket, then Conference Ticket, Finals Ticket, and Draft Ticket.
Panini Prizm Draft Picks
This product is a tease at Panini’s most anticipated product of the year — Prizm. A sister product of the typical Prizm product, it features all of the familiar shine and foil as the real deal, but just applied to incoming draft picks in their collegiate jerseys.
These cards will probably hold a little bit less value than the Prizm cards of rookies in their NBA jerseys, but they’re still exciting to have available.
LaMelo Ball rookie card Prizm Draft Picks base and parallels
Listed below are the parallels for the standard LaMelo Ball rookie Prizm card. Though some are unnumbered, they will still be fairly sought-after due to the sheer brilliance in how these cards look.
- Pink Ice: Unnumbered
- Purple Wave: Unnumbered
- Red Ice: Unnumbered
- Red White and Blue: Unnumbered
- Ruby Wave: Unnumbered
- Silver: Unnumbered
- Red: #/299
- Blue: #/199
- Purple Ice: #/149
- Blue Ice: #/99
- Purple: #/75
- Orange Pular: #/49
- Green Pulsar: #/25
- Blue Shimmer: #/13
- Black Gold: #/5
- Black: #/1
LaMelo Ball rookie card Prizm Draft Picks Inserts and other cards
Prizm Draft Picks features a lot more than just the marquee card, there are several interesting inserts and alternative cards. There is a “Mojo” “Crusade” and “Choice” and “Fast Break” card to collect for each prospect, each with unique parallels as well.
Choice includes the elusive “Tiger Stripes” parallel which is unnumbered but speculated to be quite rare. No matter the quantity out there, it’s a fan-favorite.
LaMelo has a card in the “Fast Break” insert which nods to his deep shooting ability. He also has a card in the “Colorblast” insert which is a beautiful card featuring a splattered paint design in a landscape format. This card looks like pure art.
In this product, international players have an entirely different set of cards denoted as “Global Prospect” cards which are more or less repeats of the cards in this set. LaMelo, having played prior to the NBA in New Zealand is one of those prospects, so he’ll have quite a few available pulls in this pack.
LaMelo Ball rookie card: Panini Prizm Draft Picks RC #3
When it comes to LaMelo Ball rookie cards, it’s hard to find cards that are reasonably priced yet may find some sort of decent appreciation in the future. The Panini Prizm Draft Picks base card goes for anywhere between $10-20 ungraded, and graded cards have not yet populated, but those will likely be $70-150 depending on the PSA grade.
It’s a good buy for LaMelo Ball fans who want to add to their collection without breaking the bank. Collectors can find it on eBay.
LaMelo Ball Panini Prizm Crusade Rookie Card #83
Another affordable option from the Prizm Draft Picks product when it comes to LaMelo Ball rookie cards is the Crusade #83. Collectors can find it here.
Panini Flawless Collegiate
The Flawless Collegiate product was released by Panini early in the 2020-21 season, and is the first of Panini’s extremely high-end package for the year. With extremely limited, low print-run cards and thick card stock, it’s a tangibly expensive product that usually only diehard collectors are chasing.
The packaging itself is unique and reflects the premium quality of the product and cards. The cards come in a sizable briefcase with foam cut-outs for ultimate protection. Several cards are available for unpackaging and are not completely sealed, whereas each pack has three sealed cards in plastic cases. They are not pre-graded.
LaMelo Ball rookie card Flawless Collegiate base and parallels
Within this high-end product, the base cards are numbered to 15, and there is a gold and platinum parallel numbered to 15 and 1, respectively.
There are a series of available memorabilia as well made up of patches and autographs.
Here is a summarized listing of the most collectible cards:
- Base: #/15
- Base Gold: #/15
- Base Platinum: #/1
When it comes to patches, here’s how the numbering breaks out:
- Patches: #/20
- Patches Gold: #/10
- Patches Platinum: #/1
- Dual Patches: #/20
- Dual Patches Gold: #/10
- Dual Patches Platinum: #/1
- Horizontal Patch Auto: #/20
- Horizontal Patch Gold: #/10
- Horizontal Patch Platinum: #/1
And for autographs:
- Rookie Autographs: #/20
- Rookie Autographs Gold: #/10
- Rookie Autographs Platinum: #/1
- Rookie Diamond Signatures: #/10
- Rookie Diamond Signatures Gold: #/5
- Rookie Diamond Signatures Platinum: #/1
Panini Immaculate College
Immaculate College follows up the Flawless Collegiate product as one of Panini’s premium products. While the presentation is not as luxurious as the Flawless briefcase, it comes in a tin box with foam protection. The card stock is thick and this product focuses heavily on autographs and patches.
LaMelo Ball rookie card Immaculate College base and parallels
The base and parallels offered in this product are numbered as follows:
- Base: #/49
- Base Gold: #/20
- Base Green: #/5
- Base Platinum: #/1
LaMelo Ball rookie card Immaculate College autographs
The autographs in this product are often two-for-one or even four-for-one, so LaMelo’s auto will come with other players as well. His dual autographs are numbered as follows, and are paired with Anthony Edwards:
- Immaculate Dual Autographs: #/25
- Immaculate Dual Autographs Gold: #/10
- Immaculate Dual Autographs Platinum: #/1
His quad autos are with Edwards, James Wiseman, and Obi Toppin, and are numbered just the same.
LaMelo Ball rookie card Immaculate College hats
One of the most appealing, or at least interesting cards in this product are the hat patch cards. Those are numbered as follows:
- Immaculate Jumbo Hats: #/5
- Immaculate Jumbo Hats Brand Logo: #/2
- Immaculate Jumbo Hats Button: #/2
- Immaculate Jumbo Hats Team Logo: #/2
There are plenty of interesting memorabilia and autograph cards available in this product, and we’d recommend checking out Panini’s website for full checklists.