Not that long ago, Jimmy Butler rookie cards weren’t exactly a hot commodity. Despite a long career, his autographed rookie cards were being sold for far less than those of some unproven draft picks. The Miami Heat decided he just needed a jump start. Their move to acquire the enthusiastic veteran has proven to be one of the shrewdest in recent hoop history and turned one of the NBA’s most dynamic players back into a favorite with basketball card collectors.
The Book on Butler
If Jimmy Butler’s formative years were written as the script of a major motion picture, you would be hard pressed to believe it.
The Houston, Texas native’s father abandoned him as an infant. His mother kicked him out of the house at the age of 13 simply because she was tired of looking at him. He then bounced from house to house, from friend to friend, for the remainder of his formative years.
Butler found his stride by his senior season in high school yet went largely unrecognized in the college recruitment process. He spent a year at Junior College at Tyler College and Tyler, Texas, then accepted a scholarship to Marquette University and worked his way up to star status by the end of his senior season.
He was selected 30th overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2011 NBA Draft.
During his six seasons with the Bulls he went from coming off the bench, scoring 2.6 points per game, to averaging nearly 24 points per game as a legitimate star in the league.
After a season and a half in Minnesota and one in Philly, Butler was a part of a sign and trade deal that landed him in South Beach prior to the 2019-20 season. In Miami, he became the leader of a team that found its groove in the bubble and reached the NBA Finals.
Jimmy Butler Rookie Cards
A man that has always been the gritty, hard-working heart and soul of every team he’s been a part of, Butler has just over 20 true rookie cards and while prices have risen, the vast majority can be had for a limited investment. That may not last long. He’s now getting the recognition that he probably deserves. Butler rookies were among the biggest sellers for one company during the first two months of the post-COVID NBA.
The five time All Star, three time All NBA Third Team member, and 2015 NBA Most Improved Player Award winner is destined to add many pieces to the growing hardware collection.
Below are three levels of Jimmy Butler rookie cards for your perusal.
1. 2012-13 Panini National Treasures #127 Jimmy Butler JSY AU/199 RC
A favorite of high-end collectors and investors, the National Treasures Butler rookie card has become a sought after piece of cardboard. It’s a horizontal design with a large patch on the right hand side coupled with an image of a young Butler on the left hand side and an on-card auto below.
You can often find a few on eBay but expect to pay $2,000 and up, depending on condition.
2. 2012-13 Immaculate Collection #125 Jimmy Butler JSY AU RC #/99
Another sharp looking, high-end example but one that’s typically less pricey than the National Treasures. Immaculate offers a clean design with an action shot of Butler passing the rock with a memorabilia piece and an on card auto.
3. 2012-13 Panini Prizm #205 Jimmy Butler RC
The Prizm example lands in the top tier of Butler RCs when taking into account see significance of the Prizm line and the limited number of true rookie cards Butler has available. As with all other Prizm basketball rookie cards, this one saw a significant increase as the Heat advanced in the playoffs and Butler became more and more of a superhero with each game.
Most Improved Tier
1. 2012-13 Panini Contenders #254 Jimmy Butler AU RC
The Contenders brand has always been a go-to brand for football and has now crossed over over into the basketball card market. Even though it’s on a sticker as usual with Contenders, it is a nice, clean example of a Butler rookie autograph at a very reasonable price. Even higher grade examples have yet to truly take off.
2. 2012-13 Panini Gold Standard #263 Jimmy Butler JSY AU RC
Gold Standard is another option for those who want an established brand with an autograph for a modest investment. The Gold Standard Butler rookie card offers a nice foil stock card with a thin piece of memorabilia accompanied with an on-card autograph. The card presents very well and is usually available on eBay.
3. 2012-13 Select #206 Jimmy Butler AU/399 RC
Can you believe these were going for about $30 before the NBA restart?
There are actually two versions of the Select brand that carry the RC tag. The first offers an autograph and the other offers autograph with a memorabilia piece. Both are very nice examples of Butler rookies at a still affordable price from a well-known brand in the industry.
1. 2012-13 Absolute #162 Jimmy Butler AU/299 RC
It would be hard to argue the bargain of a relatively low numbered auto rookie from a known company ending up in the lowest tier on this list. This in action shot of the Bulls rookie is accompanied by a sticker auto and a relatively low serial number. For the price it’s hard to go wrong. Some of these have sold for under $100, even in recent weeks.
2. 2012-13 Panini Threads #176 Jimmy Butler AU RC
Here is yet another example of a relatively low print run of an on-card auto of Butler. The Threads auto features a hardwood-esque feel and design, so give it some points for creativity. These, too, have been selling for under $100.
3. 2012-13 Timeless Treasures #193 Jimmy Butler AU/499 RC
We round out the lower tier with a first- all of the cards listed here in the lowest tier are true rookie autographs. This is yet another unique example that offers an acetate clear piece of material autographed by Butler that’s embedded in a well designed card. While they’re not as cheap as they were a couple of months ago, most still are within reach.
Check out our live list of the most watched Jimmy Butler cards on eBay below.