One of the better known players in this year’s draft will stick with the NBA’s licensed trading card partner. Panini America announced Monday that it had reached an exclusive agreement with former Oklahoma star point guard Trae Young.
According to Panini, Young “will be a featured attraction in all of Panini America’s 2018-19 collegiate and NBA trading card products, beginning with 2018 Contenders Draft Picks Basketball in late August and 2018-19 NBA Hoops Basketball in late October.”
Young led the nation in both scoring (27.4 ppg) and assists (8.8 apg) during his lone season with the Sooners. He’s projected to be a top ten pick.
Two seasons ago, Ben Simmons opted to sign an exclusive deal with Upper Deck before the draft. The surprise move kept his autographs out of Panini’s packs, but that won’t be an issue with Young, whose cards may well be among the upcoming season’s most popular if he proves ready for the NBA.
Young’s first officially licensed rookie card will actually be available minutes after his draft selection Thursday night through the Panini Instant on-demand trading card platform.
He’ll also sign autographed memorabilia for Panini Authentic, the company’s memorabilia division. Young also will appear in NBA Dunk, the company’s digital trading card app.
“Trae is one of the most exciting young players in all of basketball and he will absolutely be a major driver for our NBA trading card products for all of 2018-19 and beyond,” stated Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “We’ll work closely with him to deliver trading card and memorabilia offerings that appeal to fans and collectors in a major way.”
In addition, Young’s autographed memorabilia will be available exclusively through Panini Authentic, Panini America’s memorabilia division that also includes exclusive athletes such as Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Leonard Fournette, Andrew Luck and others.