Giannis Antetokounmpo: certified Greek Freak on the court, freakishly good opportunity for trading card investment off of it.
When he was drafted in 2013 with the 15th overall pick, Giannis was a ball of human clay. He entered the league with measurables considered abnormal even among NBA players. Yet, his rawness in the shooting department, lack of on-tape production, and general lack of a defined game caused him to become a mid-first-round pick.
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Fast forward seven-plus seasons and two MVP trophies later. The Greek Freak is averaging more than 20 points, nine rebounds, and four assists for his career. Tack on more than a steal and block per game, and you’ve got one of the most well-rounded unstoppable forces in the game today.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Rookie Year Stats: 77 games | 6.8 PPG | 1.9 AST | .8 BLK
With Gianni’s real-life ascent has come a parallel rise in his trading card value. It took some time, though.
Giannis did not burst on the scene in the way that Luka Doncic has, or that players like Blake Griffin did before him. You could’ve had a Gianni’s rookie card even during his sophomore season, and it would’ve been tough to see its value rising to the height that it is at today.
So yeah, you’re late to the party that is investing in Giannis RCs. But you’re not too late.
Best Giannis Antetokounmpo Rookie Cards
The following Giannis RCs are worth considering for your trading card investment portfolio.
2013 Giannis Antetokounmpo Panini Prizm Rookie Card #290
The 2013 Panini Prizm Giannis RC #290 comes at a higher price point than the SP Authentic Giannis RC. The card features a metallic silver background with perforated edges. The base version of the card features Giannis as a rookie in his green in red Bucks #34 jersey.
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Crouched slightly in his triple-threat stance, Gianni’s peers straight at the camera, hinting that this card was produced as part of a rookie card photoshoot. The only text on the front side of the card is the Panini Prizm logo up top and “Giannis Antetokoumpo, Milwaukee Bucks” down below.
A signature version of the card, rarer and more expensive, features a similar card design. It contains a different image, with Giannis holding the ball higher and crouched lower. The price difference between the two cards is generally a few thousand dollars.
2013 Giannis Antetokounmpo SP Authentic RC #36
The 2013 SP Authentic Giannis Antetokounmpo RC #36 takes us back to a time before even diehard NBA fans could pronounce either Giannis’ first or last name. A baby-faced Giannis palms the ball at mid-torso, mouth agape in a red international jersey that looks about three sizes too big.
True to the form of SP Authentic cards, this one is fairly nondescript. For the base model of the card, a silver backdrop contrasts with the red jersey. A Greek flag stands at the bottom of the card, a nod to the heritage of the rookie who had yet to become known as the Greek Freak. “Giannis Antetokounpo” hovers over the Greek flag logo in black font.
You can generally get a base model of this card for a few hundred bucks, and it may not even cost you that. The signature parallel, and the Gold signature parallel in particular, will likely run you more.
2013 Giannis Antetokounmpo Panini Gold Standard RPA RC #231
The 2013 Panini Gold Standard’s name says it all. This is one of the premier Giannis RCs on the market, with a player patch and signature fetching a predictably high price.
The card shows Giannis from the numbers up in what appears to be a shooting position. A slim rectangular player patch serves as the bottom border of the player likeness. Below the patch is plain black text of Giannis’ full name. Below the black text is a gold plate filled in with the Greek Freak’s distinct signature in blue ink.
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Purchasing a mint version of this card will cost you a few thousand dollars on the low end, and over ten grand on the high end. The patch, autograph, and promise for the rest of Giannis’ career make this an investment likely to hold its price floor and likely appreciate steadily with time.
2013 Giannis Antetokounmpo Panini Flawless RC #99
The 2013 Panini Flawless Giannis Antetokounmpo RC #99 is one of the richest NBA rookie cards on the market. These cards have real gemstones embedded in them, with parallels including Diamond (/20), Ruby (/15), Sapphire (/10), Emerald (/5), and Platinum (/1).
These cards can fetch multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars. Giannis is also one of ten rookies to be featured on a signature set of Panini Flawless RCs. Expect to invest even more if you hope to secure a Giannis Panini Flawless RC with a signature.
The non-signature card stays true to the aesthetic of the Panini Flawless line of cards. An image of Giannis, ball at neck height and ready to release a free throw, centers the card. Two reflective crescents on the right and left, cursive-style doodling down below, and Giannis name above border his likeness.
It’s a pretty card that will cost you a pretty penny but could provide substantial R.O.I. After all, it takes money to make money, doesn’t it
2013 Giannis Antetokounmpo Immaculate Collection RC Auto Patch #131
Anytime you can get your hands on a Giannis RC with a jersey patch or signature, you’ll be hard-pressed to pass up the opportunity. When you can secure a card that has both a patch and a signature, you’ll be kicking yourself should you miss your shot at acquiring it.
“The 2013 Immaculate Collection Auto Patch Giannis RC #131 has a few different variations, each of which is rare, in high demand, and currently commanding multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
The standard Rookie Patch Auto parallel is numbered to 99 copies. It is oriented vertically, with Giannis holding the ball in a triple threat position while wearing his white Bucks #34 jersey.
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A Premium Patches version of the card is oriented horizontally, with a ready-to-shoot Giannis on the right side of the card. His player patch occupies the left side of the card, with his “G.A.” signature beneath. This version is limited to 25 copies.
Yet another version of the card, limited to 34 copies, is the Jersey Number parallel. For those who have a few hundred thousand to invest, any of these parallels could prove a rock-steady vehicle for R.O.I.
2013 Giannis Antetokounmpo Panini National Treasures Auto Patch /99 RC #130
Being limited to 99 copies per rookie card, the 2013 Panini National Treasures Auto Patch slate of cards was rare from the jump. As Giannis Antetokounmpo has emerged from mid-first round rookie to perennial MVP candidate, his card in particular has jumped in value.
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The card features one of the largest player patches you will find on any NBA card, rookie card, or otherwise. The patch spans from left to right, occupying the entire midsection of the card. An entire third of the card is occupied by the patch, while Giannis’ “G.A.” signature occupies the bottom third.
A neck-up image of a dribbling Giannis covers the top third of the card. This specific card is tough to track down and will be an expensive addition to your collection.
2013 Giannis Antetokounmpo Panini Select Prizm Silver RC #178
The 2013 Panini Select Prizm Silver Giannis RC #178 presents an investment opportunity that is more accessible than the top-priced options on this list.
This card features a rookie Giannis in his all-red Bucks uni. He is caught mid-dribble, ball in his left hand as he probes the defense. A silver reflective border encases a gold interior border with a black backdrop behind the image of the young Buck.
Different parallels of this card vary in price, but will generally cost a few thousand dollars on the low-end of the spectrum. Parallels include Purple Prizms (/99), Blue Prizms (/49), Gold Prizms (/10), Green Prizms (/5), and Black Prizms (/1). As a general rule, the rarer the parallel, the more you can expect to pay.
2013 Giannis Antetokounmpo Fleer Retro Metal Universe PMG RC #252
The Fleer Retro Metal Universe PMG is one of many Fleer rookie cards released in 2013. 30 rookies received the Fleer Retro Metal treatment that year, and the Giannis #252 is a card predicated on simplicity.
Giannis palms the ball in his left hand, mouth open in a red logo-less jersey with a white #4 on the front. It is one of the nondescript, pre-Bucks images of Giannis where he could be thirteen years old or younger and you’d believe it.
The card background is black with metallic silver flourishes. An ovular “Metal” logo sits in the bottom-right corner, with a barely-visible nameplate bordering the bottom of the card. Far from the flashiest card on the market, it is one of the more affordable Giannis RCs on the market.
Parallels include Red PMG (/150), Blue PMG (/50), and Green PMG (/10). The Green PMG is likely to fetch you the greatest ROI of the lot, as it is the rarest. Of course, this is always dependent on the condition of the card that you are investing in.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Rookie Card Checklist
- 2013 Panini Hoops NBA China Giannis Antetokounmpo RC #147
- 2013 Panini Prizm Giannis Antetokounmpo RC #290
- 2013 Panini Spectra Autograph Giannis Antetokounmpo RC #120
- 2013 Panini Prestige Giannis Antetokounmpo RC #175
- 2013 Timeless Treasures Giannis Antetokounmpo RC Auto #129
- 2013 Gold Standard Auto Jersey Giannis Antetokounmpo RC #231
- 2013 Panini Court Kings Next Day Autographs Giannis Antetokounmpo RC#GA
- 2013 Panini Select Giannis Antetokounmpo RC #178
- 2013 Panini’s Choice Giannis Antetokounmpo RC #/60, #246
- 2013 Panini Crown Royale Giannis Antetokounmpo RC /49 #380
- 2013 Immaculate Collection Autograph Jersey Giannis Antetokounmpo RC /99 #131
- 2013 National Treasures RC Autograph Jersey Giannis Antetokounmpo RC /99 #130
- 2013 Fleer Retro Giannis Antetokounmpo RC #47
- 2013 Panini Innovation All-Rookies Giannis Antetokounmpo RC #13
- 2013 Panini Preferred Autograph Giannis Antetokounmpo RC #116
- 2014 Upper Deck STAR Rookie Card Giannis Antetokounmpo RC #127
Giannis Antetokounmpo Rookie Card Value
The most expensive Giannis Antetokounmpo rookie card sold to date is the 2013-14 Giannis Antetokounmpo National Treasures Horizontal RPA NBA Logoman 1/1 #130 rookie card.
This coveted Giannis Antetokounmpo autographed patch rookie card sold for a record-breaking $1.812 million at Goldin Auction.
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Giannis Antetokounmpo Rookie Card: Buyers Guide and Investment Advice
Giannis Antetokounmpo is 26. He has two MVPs to his name. This puts him in rarefied air reserved for names like LeBron, Michael, and Larry. Considering his truly freakish natural gifts and his stunning ascent from lanky rookie averaging less than ten points to two-time MVP (and more sure to come), he’s a player you want to own equity in.
Investment Rating: Buy (4.7 out of 5)
Ownership Disclosure: 2013 Panini Prizm RC PSA 10
Best Giannis Antetokounmpo Rookie Cards: The 2013 Giannis Antetokounmpo Panini Prizm Rookie Card #290 is our top pick from an ROI perspective.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a legitimate proverbial NBA MVP candidate year in year out and is a triple-double threat nightly.
Trading cards represent one of the few ways for fans and collectors to invest in individual players. Think of these cards as stocks in the player of your choice.
We’ve highlighted several cards that you can purchase as your own shares of Gianni’s stock. You can pick from Gianni’s blue chips (Panini Flawless), Giannis mid-level stocks (Panini Select Prizm), and the equivalent of Gianni’s penny stocks (Fleer Retro Metal Universe). The other cards we detailed fall somewhere on the spectrum.
No matter which tier you invest in, the fact that Giannis is the player on your card means that you have made a sure bet.