LaMelo Ball is tearing it up in his rookie year. The #3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft has proven to be a revelation on his way to winning the NBA’s 2021 Rookie of the Year. He appears to be the Big Baller that LaVar, and later scouts, projected him to be.
Even as one of the most hyped prospects in recent memory, the youngest Ball has exceeded expectations. Living up to his last name, LaMelo’s been key in turning around the long-woebegone Hornets franchise.
The new Melo’s performance isn’t limited to the court—he’s hot on the trading card market as well. He is the coveted rookie card likeness of 2020 and 2021, and a recent slate of LaMelo Ball RC releases are proving to be valuable commodities.
Best LaMelo Ball Rookie Cards
We have our eye on several LaMelo Ball rookie cards in particular as prime investment opportunities (please come back often throughout 2021 as new basketball sets are released).
2020 Panini Prizm LaMelo Ball RC #278
The 2020 Prizm Basketball card has finally been released after months of collectors drooling all over themselves, waiting to get their hands on the LaMelo Ball Prizm rookie card.
Not only is this the best LaMelo Ball rookie card released currently, but it will likely hold up to any challengers as Prizm basketball rookie cards are a significant investment.
If you want to get wild, purchase one of the LaMelo Ball Prizm Parallels and thank us in 5 years when they are worth a small fortune.
2020-21 LaMelo Ball Prizm Parallels (Buy on eBay)
- Blue Wave
- Gold Wave
- Green Ice
- Orange Ice
- Pink Ice
- Purple Wave
- Red Ice
- Ruby Wave
- Red /299
- Blue /199
- Purple Ice /175
- Blue Ice /125
- Purple /99
- Orange Wave /60
- Orange /49
- Pink Pulsar /42
- Blue Shimmer /35
- Purple Pulsar /35
- Green Pulsar /25
- Mojo /25
- Gold /10
- Gold Shimmer /10
- Lucky Envelopes /8
- Black Gold /5
- Green Shimmer #/5
- Black 1/1
- Black Shimmer 1/1
2020 Panini NBA Hoops LaMelo Ball RC #223
No current NBA rookie card offers the potential for appreciation that LaMelo Ball’s set does. Especially in light of the resurgence in physical card collection and trading, the 2020 Panini NBA Hoops LaMelo Ball RC #223 is an investment vehicle worth considering.
The card image is a trademark-cool LaMelo ready to dish a pass to…let’s be honest, it’s a photo shoot, there’s nobody to the dish too (if there is, it’s probably the team manager). The lack of an in-game shot on this card actually reflects one of those indelible rookie card qualities—he’s so fresh in the league that in-game images are few and far between.
True to the NBA Hoops’ trademark simplicity, this card is far from flashy. Though parallels like Purple Foil and Teal Explosion add a bit of flair, the base model is straightforward. A teal and white border frame LaMelo front and center with a low-key nameplate completing the bottom border.
As the first rookie card featuring LaMelo in his Hornets uni, the Panini NBA Hoops RC #223 seems like a sound investment.
Parallels: Blue, Hyper Blue, Neon Green, Purple, Purple Explosion, Purple Winter, Red Backs, Teal Explosion, Winter, Yellow, Silver #/199, Green #/99, Hyper Red #/99, Green Explosion #/89, Red #/75, Teal #/70, Blue Explosion #/59, Artist Proof #/25, Hyper Green #/25, Orange #/25, Orange Explosion #/25, Red Explosion #/15, Artist Proof Gold #/10, Hyper Gold #/10, Artist Proof Black 1/1.
2020 Donruss Rated Rookie LaMelo Ball RC #202
Donruss’ 2020 LaMelo Ball RC #202 is one that you can get your hands on at a reasonable price.
Released on March 3rd, 2021, the PSA-certified version of the card will take some time to emerge. However, versions that look to be in good condition are readily available on eBay.
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The card itself presents LaMelo, ball clutched at his waist, in what appears to be a pre-shot moment. Ball dons the purple Hornets Swingman jersey with a look of focus in his eyes.
Like the card’s overall design, the image of Ball is composed. His likeness is framed by the Hornets’ purple, white, and teal color scheme. Those seeking an affordable LaMelo Ball RC might take a shot on a Donruss Rated Rookie RC #202.
Parallels: Green Flood, Green Laser, Green & Yellow Laser, Light Blue Laser, Orange Laser, Red & Gold Laser, Yellow Flood, Press Proof Silver /349, Press Proof Purple /199, Purple Laser /99, Red Laser /99, Blue Laser /49, Yellow Laser /25, Red & Blue Laser /15, Gold Laser /10, Black Laser 1/1.
Choice Parallels: Base, Red /99, Blue /49, Gold /10, Black Gold /8, Black 1/1
2020 NBA Hoops Arriving Now LaMelo Ball RC #15
The 2020-21 LaMelo Ball NBA Hoops Arriving Now RC #15 is an insert. The Arriving Now set is a designation awarded to only 25 of the top-performing rookies in this NBA season. Of course, LaMelo Ball tops that list of outstanding performers.
The set was released on February 3, 2021. The card comes in Holo, Winter, and Winter Holo versions. Featuring the same image as the NBA Hoops base card, the Arriving Now version swaps the low-key background for a vibrant—and in some cases holographic—backdrop.
A train tunnel-like design frames the image of Ball while a barcode, square airplane icon, and stylized nameplate are also present. Base and parallel Arriving Now cards are available on eBay. Prices are among the lower-tier of offerings for LaMelo Ball RCs, making them an accessible option for all traders and collectors.
Parallels: Winter, Winter Holo, Holo.
2020 Panini Certified Freshman Fabric LaMelo Ball RC #38
Available only as a redemption card, the 2020 LaMelo Ball Certified Freshman Fabric RC #38 hit the market on February 21, 2021. These are among the more difficult LaMelo RCs to come by.
“The rarity of the Certified Freshman Fabric RCs, along with the desirability of patch-signature cards, makes this card a steady investment. Even if the entry price point is high, you can expect a steady rise in value over time.”
We can glean the general design of the card from other RCs in the class. Oriented horizontally, the player likeness occupies about one-third of the card’s width. A rectangular player patch spans left-to-center, with the player signature scrawled in blue ink on a reflective plate beneath the patch.
Parallels: Gold, Green, Red (Cardboard Connection)
2020 Panini Flawless Collegiate RPA LaMelo Ball RC #SPM-LB
The 2020 Panini Flawless Collegiate LaMelo Rookie Patch Autograph (RPA) RC is the most expensive you will find on this list. Though it could prove to have a huge ROI, it’s exclusive to those with deep pockets.
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The Flawless card has a horizontal orientation. An image of LaMelo, mid-dribble with the ball nonchalantly palmed at shoulder-height, occupies the far-left quadrant of the card. He wears a red and white, logo-less jersey.
“The LaMelo Flawless card is pristine, minimalist, and tasteful. And it’s expensive. Expect to dish out tens of thousands of bucks, or more, if you want to get your hands on one.”
To the right of his likeness is the rectangular player patch. A cursive “Flawless” sits atop the patch, while LaMelo’s signature rests in blue ink beneath the patch. The patch is bordered in a platinum blue design, while “LaMelo Ball” text of the same color sits beneath the signature.
2020 Panini Prizm Draft Pick LaMelo Ball RC #3
Here’s a shiny, more affordable option for those who don’t have thousands to invest in the Flawless Collegiate RC. Despite a more tempered asking price, this card could provide a nice little return on your investment.
The card features a youthful LaMelo in a logo-less black uniform, mid-air and ready to either dish to a teammate or possibly release a quick layup or floater. A silver sheen reflects a background that matches the black color scheme of his jersey. An American flag adorns the bottom-right sector of the card.
Consider the Prizm Draft Pick Silver a cost-friendly entry point into the LaMelo RC ecosystem. The Silver Prizm is one of several Prizm parallels.
Parallels: Silver, Disco, Green, Hyper, Pink Ice, Purple Wave, Red Ice, Red/White/Blue, Ruby Wave, Red #/299, Blue #/199, Purple Ice #/149, Blue Ice #/99, Purple #/75, Orange Pulsar #/49, Green Pulsar #/25, Mojo #/25, Blue Shimmer FOTL #/13, Gold #/10, Black Gold #/5, Black 1/1.
LaMelo Ball Rookie Card Checklist
- 2020 Prizm DP Auto LaMelo Ball RC #PALB
- 2020 Panini Prizm LaMelo Ball RC #278
- 2020 Prizm Draft Picks Wave Prizm LaMelo Ball RC #98
- 2020 Downtown LaMelo Ball RC #DP
- 2020 National Treasures LaMelo Ball RC
- 2020 Contenders Draft Picks Prospect Ticket Auto LaMelo Ball RC #54
- 2020 Silver Prizm LaMelo Ball RC #3
- 2020 Flawless Collegiate RPA LaMelo Ball RC #114
- 2020 Prizm Draft Picks Red White Blue LaMelo Ball RC #3
- 2020 National Treasures Lamelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, Okongwu, Deni Avdija RC #QD-DB
- 2020 National Treasures Collegiate LaMelo Ball/RJ Hampton Dual Auto /10 #DS-LB
- 2020 Prizm DP Choice Blue Yellow Green LaMelo Ball RC #3
- 2020 Panini Immaculate LaMelo Ball/Lonzo Ball Auto /10 RC #IDA-LL
- 2020 National Treasures LaMelo Ball/James Wiseman Dual Jersey Relic /25 #DM-LB
- 2020 Contenders Draft Picks 2020 Draft Class LaMelo Ball RC #SS-4
- 2020 Certified Graffiti Lamelo Ball RC #28
LaMelo Ball Early Rookie Cards
- 2018 Leaf Greatest Hits Lamelo Ball Valiant Auto RC #LMB
- 2018 Leaf Metal Draft RC
- 2018 Leaf Ultimate Draft Lamelo Ball Chino Hills RC #BG-LMB
- 2018 Leaf Metal Prizm Prized Rookie
LaMelo Ball Rookie Card Values
The most expensive LaMelo Ball rookie card sold to date is the 2020 Panini Flawless Platinum RPA RC #84, 2020 Emerald National Treasures RC, and the 2020 Prizm DP Autograph RC all of which should have an easy double-digit return between now and the end of the 2020-21 NBA season.
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LaMelo Ball Rookie Card: Buyers Rating and Investment Outlook
If you’re looking for a tangible asset to invest your hard-earned bucks in, you could do far worse than a LaMelo Ball rookie card. As the young superstar’s stock rises, so will the value of your RC. That’s the idea, at least.
LaMelo Ball Rookie Card Investment Rating: Buy (4.4 out of 5)
Ownership Disclosure: None
Top-Rated (ROI) LaMelo Ball Rookie Card: 2020 Panini Prizm LaMelo Ball RC #278 (Buy on eBay)
We’ve presented a few options of varying price points, visual styles, and rarities. Take your pick. With LaMelo’s professional outlook on a vertical upward trajectory, can you go wrong?