His name was truly the biggest in the 2013 NBA Draft but now he’s truly a big name. the Milwaukee Bucks do-it-all superstar is on his way to becoming one of the league’s greatest ever and Giannis Antetokounmpo rookie cards are among the hobby’s hottest. A 6-11 guard/forward/center with long arms and large hands, “The Greek Freak” has freakish size and athletic ability. Can’t spell his name? No worries, he’s one of the few athletes whose first name alone is enough for everyone to know exactly who you’re talking about. For the record, it’s pronounced YAHN-iss Ahn-teh-toe-KUHN-poe.
Collectors have been searching for Giannis basketball cards on eBay in record numbers and after he signed his super max extension with the Bucks prior to the 2020-21 season, that isn’t likely to change.
Giannis: Class of the 2013-14 Draft
Basketball card collectors initially looked at the rookies in the 2013 draft class and dismissed many of them. Nerlens Noel was injured. Top overall pick Anthony Bennett never got going. Hustling Victor Oladipo did have popular cards but it was the teenager with the crazy wingspan laboring for a bad team showed flashes of what is surely to come.
Antetokounmpo is definitely a unique player. He has a 7’3″ wingspan, an ability to run the floor and multiple MVP awards. Basketball card collectors like players who make highlight plays, and Antetokounmpo does that on both ends of the floor. Dunks and blocks, long-range shooting ability, playmaking skills all make for an entertaining player.
Collectors who locked down some of his rookie cards are already smiling. Prices for all of them have skyrocketed since that first season, when he finished seventh in the Rookie of the Year voting as was still essentially unknown. He reached 10,000 points just after turning 25 years old, with a ridiculously bright future. With a world wide following, his cards are among the most popular in the hobby, along with those of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Luka Doncic.
Best Giannis Cards
Determining what is the “best” Giannis rookie card is kind of in the eye of the beholder and whether you’re looking an autographed rookie card or an unsigned one.
Among the more than two dozen official rookie cards are autographed ones that rank among the best Giannis Antetokounmpo cards issued. He arrived after Panini America became the exclusive trading card partner of the NBA and the company’s numerous brands issued in 2013-14 are where you’ll find Giannis’ earliest licensed cards.
Some players may seem a bit lazy when they don’t sign their full name, but with Antetokounmpo it is understandable as there usually isn’t enough room on the card. Antetokounmpo’s signature has varied over the years, with some early cards bearing only his initials. That doesn’t stop his autographed rookie cards going for increasingly higher prices.
At the high end are serial-numbered issues such as the 2013 Panini Immaculate Collection #131 rookie patch autograph card. Numbered to 99, it’s a very attractive card with a jersey patch piece that ranks among the best Giannis cards in which to invest.
It’s an incredible card that doesn’t come up for sale often and is pricey when it does. There’s a stunning Immaculate Acetate version, numbered to his jersey number (34) if you’re ready to go all in on the big man and own something not many other collectors have.
Also numbered to just 99, the National Treasures RPA is also among the top Giannis autographed rookie cards and prices for high-grade examples reflect that. There’s a horizontal version of that card numbered to just 10 copies, one of which sold for over $1.8 million at Goldin Auctions in 2020.
Other options include Panini’s long-running Gold Standard brand, which has a Giannis autograph jersey card. It’s a sharp-looking piece with the gold accents that make it stand out. High-grade examples will run well into four figures but that’s far less than issues like National Treasures.
The 2013 Spectra #120 autograph jersey card carries a sticker autograph and isn’t serial numbered, but it’s among the few Giannis rookie autographs you can still own for what, for him, is a fairly modest price.
There are several other Panini brands that carry Giannis’ rookie autograph as well.
Giannis Base Rookie Cards
As for unsigned issues, the 2013-14 Panini Prizm #290 Giannis rookie card (and its parallel versions) have, like the man himself, risen above the crowd. There’s a sticker autograph version but this actually kind of overshadows that one. Prizm isn’t the rarest, but it’s among the most actively traded brands with enough sales that prices are easy to track.
If you have one, get it graded unless it has noticeable wear. If you’re looking for one, expect to pay a four-figure price for a mint or gem mint graded copy. The one-of-a-kind Black Mosaic parallel version that sold for $1.1 million in 2020 made national headlines.
The low-numbered base cards from high-end brands like Flawless and Immaculate are usually hot sellers as well. 2013 Flawless #99 is numbered to just 20. Court Kings #125 is among the most attractive Giannis Antetokounmpo rookie cards you’ll find. Printed on a canvas-style card stock, it’s a work of art. While there are several Giannis cards in the set, this is the one you’ll see most often.
Collectors do have plenty of low-cost options with base cards from brands such as Hoops, Prestige, Pinnacle, Select and Panini landing in the moderately priced category but even high-end graded versions of those can get pretty pricey if you’re talking PSA 10 Giannis rookie cards.
As for lower end cards that arrived before he suited up in an NBA game, he’s pictured in a European basketball jersey on his first cards, issued by Upper Deck. There are usually several dozen Giannis rookie cards available on eBay for much less than other early Giannis cards.
Search for Misspellings
When searching on eBay for basketball cards it can be worthwhile to try a few misspelled versions of a player’s name, as sometimes a card will be listed as “Michel Jordan” or “Kevin Drant” and it will evade many of the automatic searches. For Antetokounmpo, that idea might apply even more.
Complete Star in the Making
Even if you still can’t pronounce his last name without stumbling, Giannis Antetokounmpo rookie cards are worth grabbing right now, even after prices have soared following his back-to-back MVP seasons. He’s still young, with plenty of time to build a Hall of Fame case. The global market for top current basketball players is expected to continue to grow, with more competition chasing his rookie cards.
Top Giannis Cards on eBay
What are generally considered the best Giannis rookie cards are most often found in eBay auctions so they can garner the widest audience. It’s a 24 hour-a-day, 365 days per year marketplace and there are always a lot of them on the auction block. Directly below is our exclusive, running list of the 100 hottest Giannis cards at auction on eBay right now.
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