The hunt for the hottest 2021 NBA rookie cards is on right now as the league passed its one-month mark recently. With how things are going on right now, it’s fairly easy to spot which of these young studs can be great investments for collectors and which are not. We take a look down below at which guys from the latest rookie class are worth investing in and the reasons why.
The best 2021 NBA rookie cards to invest in
6. Chris Duarte
It’s pretty easy to overlook a 24-year old rookie who possesses a shorter window of development than most of his peers. The thing is, it doesn’t look like Chris Duarte doesn’t need years to reach his prime, unlike other members of his draft class.
Chris Duarte is a bucket getter. Those are always the best guys.
— Ball Don't Stop (@balldontstop) November 12, 2021
Right from the get-go, the Indiana Pacers’ rookie is notching 14.3 points per game on 43% shooting from the field and an impressive 40% from deep. He also contributes 4.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 32 minutes as a starter. With his size and reliable shooting stroke from beyond the arc, Indiana’s offense and spacing have the chance to become better throughout this season.
It won’t be long now before Duarte gets used to the pace and physicality of the NBA. Once he does, expect his offense to develop more, much to the Pacers’ benefit and collectors who will invest in his cards. With the way the game is being played right now, there’s always room for a shooter to rise above in the card market.
5. Josh Giddey
When looking at the Oklahoma City Thunder, the best prospect in the hobby is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander cards. But after a year or two, Josh Giddey’s stock has the potential to come close.
Your daily reminder that Josh Giddey is a gifted passer 🤌 pic.twitter.com/IXczGkf0Va
— Thunder Film Room (@ThunderFilmRoom) November 13, 2021
After 12 games, the 7th pick from this year’s Draft Class is starting to show glimpses of what he can really do. In 28.6 minutes per contest, Giddey is averaging 9.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.3 steals. While his efficiency with the ball still leaves a lot to be desired, his size, playmaking, and basketball IQ are more than enough to help him stand out from the crowd.
Once Giddey gets used to the NBA, there’s no reason for his numbers not to go up. There’s a good chance he can get more boards, throw more dimes, and improve as a shot creator down the line. When that happens, OKC’s backcourt with him and SGA will be a real problem for the league. Of course, his NBA rookie card value will also benefit if he fully realizes his potential.
4. Jalen Green
There’s always something appealing about an athletic guy with raw offensive talent. Jalen Green, the Houston Rockets’ pick from this year’s lottery has the chance to be his team’s primary scorer in the years to come.
OH MY, JALEN GREEN 😤 pic.twitter.com/EevUAaJDBs
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 8, 2021
Although Green’s progress is being overshadowed by a losing Rockets’ team and poor shooting efficiency, the promise is still there. In 32.3 minutes per game, the rookie is posting 13.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. It won’t be long before he acclimates to the NBA and brings those scouting reports to life, which is an athletic guard who can dominate games through his sheer will to score.
Keep in mind that if he ever reaches his ceiling, his game can mimic those of Devin Booker, or even Kobe Bryant. In the event Green ascends into a bonafide alpha scorer, his rookie cards will shoot through the roof.
3. Cade Cunningham
Those who followed Luka Doncic’s career know that apart from being a scorer to be reckoned with, the Dallas Mavericks’ All-Star can also consistently create plays for his teammates. As a result, his overall impact on offense can turn the tide for any squad he’s playing for. And just like the Slovenian guard, Cade Cunningham is slated to follow the same path to bring the Detroit Pistons back to relevance.
After a slow start, Cade Cunningham last 3 games:
20 PTS, 4 REB, 4 3PT
17 PTS, 4 REB, 3 3PT
18 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST pic.twitter.com/s589KXBZ3s
— StatMuse (@statmuse) November 11, 2021
The 6’8″ guard possesses the size, playmaking, and offensive talent to take Motor City back to the playoffs. He’s also showing a sense of maturity that’s well above his years, a trait that can speed up his development into a full-blown star in the NBA. And while his averages of 11.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and three assists aren’t anything to be excited for right now, Cunningham is just starting in the league. With sufficient minutes, the Pistons’ pick this year has the chance to make everyone believe in his ceiling.
Since Cunningham is the top pick from his class, it’s a given that his NBA rookie cards will be an instant draw in the hobby. Without a doubt, his stock will just get higher in the coming months, much like what happened with Zion Williamson and LaMelo Ball cards.
2. Evan Mobley
A lot of folks are now of the opinion that the Cleveland Cavaliers have found the reincarnation of Chris Bosh in their rookie this year – Evan Mobley. And after playing 14 games, it seems that all the talk about him is proving to be true.
Evan Mobley playing bully ball with Tatum 💪 pic.twitter.com/9QRuWhNlSP
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) November 14, 2021
With 34.1 minutes given per game, Mobley has given the Cavs 15.6 points while efficiently hitting 52% of his shots from the field. The rookie is also averaging 7.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.5 blocks per contest. With that kind of contribution, it’s no wonder Cleveland has risen up in the Eastern Conference’s rankings recently.
Mobley’s stock will sure get hot once Panini releases products that feature this season’s latest batch of rookies. Once it hits the market, collectors can be sure to find a shortage of the Cavs’ rising star and his NBA rookie cards.
When the Toronto Raptors selected Scottie Barnes over Jalen Suggs, a lot of folks criticized the franchise for making such a move in the draft. Turns out, they knew something about Barnes almost everybody didn’t and their team is all the better for it.
Scottie Barnes in his rookie campaign:
◻️ 170 points
◻️ 85 rebounds
◻️ 26 assists
◻️ 11 steals
No Raptors player has ever posted such minimum totals in their first 10 games of a season. pic.twitter.com/MwFUaLhx7d
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) November 11, 2021
In just 12 games, Barnes has put the entire league on notice. The 6’9″ forward did just that by posting averages of 16.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per contest. Although he hasn’t developed yet as a perimeter threat, Barnes’ offense from two is instant cash for Toronto because of his 51% field goal rate. Give him a season or two and the Raptors will have a dangerous lineup that features Barnes, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and Gary Trent Jr. in it. In that scenario, expect the rookie’s stock to rise up as well.
As of now, there’s no word yet when Panini will release their card products for the 2020-21 season. When they do, collectors will have their hands full with the 2021 NBA rookie cards of these players. For sure, their stocks are going to be hot commodities in the market.