Panini America announced just prior to Thursday night’s 2013 NBA Draft that it has reached exclusive trading card agreements with 12 projected first-round picks including Nerlens Noel (Kentucky), and fellow projected top-five selections Ben McLemore (Kansas), Otto Porter (Georgetown) and Alex Len (Maryland).
The agreements grant Panini America, which is the league’s sole trading card partner, exclusive rights to produce officially licensed rookie cards and autographed trading cards the draftees. Cards of next season’s rookies will begin appearing inside the company’s 2013-14 NBA Hoops Basketball product, due out in October.
In addition to the four players mentioned above, Panini America also signed: Victor Oladipo (G, Indiana), Anthony Bennett (F, UNLV), Michael Carter-Williams (G, Syracuse), Trey Burke (G, Michigan), Shabazz Muhammad (G/F, UCLA), Cody Zeller (F/C, Indiana), Dennis Schroeder (G, Germany), C.J. McCollum (G, Lehigh), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (G, Georgia), Jamaal Franklin (G, San Diego State), Shane Larkin (G, Miami) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (G, Michigan).
“We’re coming off of a truly historic NBA season that culminated with one of the greatest NBA Finals we’ve ever seen,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “Adding so many talented new faces to the Panini America NBA family for 2013-14 ensures that our momentum will continue and we’re excited about delivering the first Rookie Cards and autographs from this next class of NBA stars.”