Panini America gets the new basketball season started this week with the release of 2015-16 NBA Hoops Basketball.
Hoops is the first official NBA product of the year, and it’s a low-end, easy to assemble set that also allows collectors to find rookie cards of players selected in the 2015 NBA Draft. Collectors will be able to find top picks like Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell and Jahlil Okafor.
A hobby box contains 24 packs, with 12 cards per pack. Panini is promising two autographs and at least 20 inserts or parallels, including seven serial-numbered cards. Presale prices for hobby boxes have been hovering in the $65 to $70 range.
A base set will consist of 300 cards — 260 veterans and 40 rookies. The card design will rely heavily on action shots framed by a white border. The player’s name will be in white block letters encased in a blue box.
In addition to the base set, each card will sport eight parallels: gold, green, red backs, blue (numbered to 399), red (299), silver (299) Artist Proof (99) and Artist Proof black (1/1).
NBA Hoops Basketball will have plenty of inserts, starting with Highlights. This subset honors notable efforts from last season. Bird’s Eye View gives the collector an overhead view of a player, generally as he approached the basket.
Triple-Double is a statistical insert that honors top player production from the 2014-15 season. Road to the Finals recaps the 2014-15 playoffs from the first round through the Warriors’ game-clinching victory in the NBA Finals. The toughest cards to get will be the Champions short prints, which celebrate Golden State’s first NBA title since 1975.
Kobe’s All-Rookie Team will showcase Panini spokesman Kobe Bryant’s top 12 rookies for the upcoming season, including Towns, Russell and Okafor. Look for young players like Mario Hezonja, Trey Lyles, Emmanuel Mudiay and Frank Kaminsky.
Bryant will also have a special tribute set that’s being issued in concert with a video game. Card #’s 1 through 10 appear in specially marked versions of NBA2K17 in two-card cello packs while card #’s 11-20 fall in packs of Hoops at a rate of three per hobby box and two per retail box.
2015-16 Panini Hoops will again will be very affordable, and set builders should have a good shot at completing the set without straining their budgets. Check out what’s listed on eBay here.