He arrived in the midst of an explosion of autographed jersey cards and multiple manufacturers, but when you consider the hottest LeBron James rookie cards –it’s sometimes more fun to dig beyond that 2003-04 debut season. When it comes to LeBron, it’s not always his rookie cards that are the most popular with collectors.
Some prefer the dual-signed cards with James and Jordan. Others like the low print runs of other relic cards. James’ debut coincided with Upper Deck Exquisite, a brand that created a whole new tier of cards, the likes of which had never really been seen before. They were limited enough to push prices well out of sight for many. In 2016, a 1/1 LeBron rookie from Exquisite set a record price for a modern basketball card when it sold at auction for $312,000. That turned out to be chump change when another card from Exquisite netted $1.8 million.
Demand for Lebron James Cards
Demand for LeBron James cards remains high. Sellers hoping to take advantage of the annual attention he gets after certain milestones or post-season performances are likely to do well. However, there’s a danger in selling too low as the next few years play out and LeBron chases even more hardware. He’s already among the NBA career leaders in several categories and isn’t done yet. Iconic players are almost always the best sports card investments and LeBron certainly fits that category.
Lower Priced LeBron James Rookie Cards
Luckily for those with limited budgets, there is no shortage of LeBron’s rookie cards and if you simply want a few from any portion of his career, there are plenty of low priced options.
High-End LeBron Cards
Still, the action is on the higher end. It’s common for autographed rookie cards numbered to less than 100 to sell for well into five figures. The same is true for certain 1/1 autographs. Those with 9.5 or 10 grades consistently draw big bucks. Like vintage baseball card collectors and Mickey Mantle, the demand for James cards keeps prices strong. Those who invested early have seen the value of their LeBron James rookie cards grow pretty nicely.
Of course, his autographs, photos and other memorabilia are also strong sellers.
With that in mind, here’s a real-time list of the 100 hottest LeBron James rookie card auctions right now on eBay.