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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.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Eric Cabreros permalink
    December 14, 2012 1:39 pm

    Damian is perfect for the NBA where almost all teams rely on pick and roll and have made a dozens of variations of that play.
    Lillard already was mastering this great craft while in high school and especially in college.
    That’s why no doubt he will be the next superstar and the favorite for rookie of the year.

    With Panini Lillard have really turned many collectors into Gold thru Prizm. Can’t imagine how much the Black prizm would command.

  2. December 14, 2012 1:54 pm

    Nothing against the RG3s and Lucks of the world but there is nothing more exciting than a red hot NBA rookie!

  3. Dave permalink
    December 14, 2012 4:40 pm

    i like panini and this blog a lot, but probably not the topic panini wants to call peoples attention to considering the exclusive agreement announced today.

    • December 14, 2012 4:50 pm

      Appreciate the feedback, Dave. We’re simply highlighting impressive sales of some of the top-selling NBA-licensed Rookie Cards and rookie parallels of one of the league’s top rookies.

      • Dave permalink
        December 17, 2012 9:03 am

        I have to give you credit about one thing, you guys are pretty good on here at taking criticism and not cherry picking only the good comments. Those are grounds for a solid company. Its all about improvement and Panini should be proud that they listen to their fans/customers about what they want to see made/signed etc.

  4. December 16, 2012 11:00 am

    So Lillard is exclusive with another company for autographs but can’t be shown in an NBA jersey (or college for that matter). Terrible.

    • Dave permalink
      December 17, 2012 9:07 am

      I think Panini can do whatever they want with Lillard except use his autos and possibly his game used stuff. They would be smart… hint hint… maybe in a set like Select, hint hint, to have a special mini chase Lillard set, like 25 cards Serial #’d of him that are exclusive prizms colored in a way that none of the other prizms are… you’re welcome;)

  5. December 17, 2012 9:04 pm

    ^Yep, agree with Dave 100%. I think those chase parallels would probably become the definitive Lillard rookies to own to. The gold prizm’s do look very nice.


  1. Anonymous
  2. Panini America Presents a Must-See Gallery Honoring NBA ROY Damian Lillard | The Official Panini America Blog

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