Basketball card

Collectors Take Collective Yawn with GA’s Decision to Stay

Just over 1 month ago (12.15), the announcement came that Giannis Antetokounmpo signed a ‘supermax’ 5-year contract extension with the Milwaukee Bucks, and I figured since his rookie cards have seen some crazy swings this year, why not revisit them one more time to see how collectors are responding to the news. People generally don’t like change, so my hunch was that collectors will have responded favorably, but just how favorably is anybody’s guess.

The card gods have been very kind to Giannis Antetokounmpo collectors, and as I mentioned in my visual 2020 recap post, there were two Antetokounmpo rookies (that I know of) that sold for over $1M in 2020. Today I’ll be looking at three of GA’s more common tog graded rookies: the Panini Prizm base rookie (#290), the Panini rookie (#194), and the Panini Select base rookie (#178). All three are terrific rookie cards that are readily available, both graded and ungraded, on eBay and my analysis below should help you decide on buying, selling, or continue to monitor these popular rookie cards.

I covered the Panini Prizm rookie card back in September, when I noticed the top graded card fell hard in that month, dropping from around $6.5K to under $5K (for more on that, check my Bucking the Trend post). And its good to hold onto those numbers for a base as we check out what is going on with GA rookies.

GA’s Panini Prizm Rookie Card (#290)

Over the past six weeks, the Antetokounmpo Panini Prizm top graded rookie card has been consistently hovering around the $4K mark. The day after the announcement, a card sold for $3.5K, but almost instantly a sale came back above $4K the following day. As you can see in the graph below, there really hasn’t been much of a chance for this or any of the Antetokounmpo rookie card prices since the big announcement.

Graph of GA Rookie cards from December 3
Changes in PSA 10 Antetokounmpo rookies since 12/3/2020

So going back to those $5K numbers we saw in September, the GA Prizm rookie is consistently selling for roughly 20% lower now compared to fall of 2020. With no titles under his belt yet (granted, he’s extremely talented), I’m still a bit confused about all the GA hype. Are collectors really that optimistic about his future prospects as a player and investment opportunity or will he end up going down in history like so many other greats (Ewing, Malone, Stockton, Miller, Barkley, Carter, etc.) as a true phenom who never won a title. If so, it will certainly have a negative impact on his rookie cards.

2013 Panini Prizm Antetokounmpo Rookie (#290)
2013 Panini Prizm Antetokounmpo Rookie (#290)

GA’s Panini Rookie Card (#194)

Of the three cards in the graph above, the one with the fewest tracked sales was the standard Panini GA rookie. There were only a handful of sales, but this card did see a fairly big bump after his announcement. This top graded rookie was selling in the $400-$500 range, but just after the announcement came a card sold for $810. However, it didn’t take too long for this card to come back below $600 and has since been selling in the low to mid $500s.

2013 Panini Antetokounmpo Rookie (#194)
2013 Panini Antetokounmpo Rookie (#194)

Perhaps it steadies off at this point, in which case the would have been a small bump for the Panini rookie, but it could just as easily slip below $500 as we roll through January into February. Most likely the card prices from this point forward will depend on how well he plays and how well the Bucks do this season.

GA’s Panini Select Rookie Card (#178)

There was a fair amount of data available on PSA’s website for the top graded Panini Select rookie card. Personally, I like this one most out of the three cards covered.

2013 Panini Select Antetokounmpo Rookie (#178)
2013 Panini Select Antetokounmpo Rookie (#178)

But this card looks like its on a bit of a downward trend as of late. The PSA 10 graded Select cards were selling for around $1,600 – $1,800 back in early December, but now this card looks to be selling in a range of around $1,400 – $1,600. With so little data it is difficult to draw any conclusions, but it looks to me like the was little to no bump in GA’s rookie card value after his decision to stay. My gut feeling was off on this one as the mysteries of the hobby continue to puzzle me.

Stay tuned for more research, insights, and card reviews.

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