The 5 Most Valuable Signed Basketball Cards of All Time

a close-up of a basketball

Basketball cards are more lucrative than ever, with online sports card openings and increasingly accessible online marketplaces drawing in new audiences. Autographed basketball cards have also benefited from all this momentum, turning even recent releases into highly valuable cards. From All-Star favorites like Michael Jordan to modern legends like Stephen Curry, here are the most valuable signed cards to watch out for.

#1: 2009-10 Stephen Curry - Panini National Treasures

Last sold for $6 million in a private auction, this signed card’s value outstrips its competitors significantly. The 2009-10 Stephen Curry rookie card drop was a perfect storm of coincidences, skyrocketing its value soon after its launch.

  • National Treasures Launch: This signed basketball card dropped alongside Panini’s first National Treasures basketball case. Although the premium series has been around since 2006, Panini only expanded into basketball in 2009. Right from its debut, this hobby box lineup’s eye-catching designs, perceived scarcity, and high-end appeal have helped National Treasures maintain its position as the premium basketball hobby box.

  • The Curry Factor: National Treasures wasn’t the only big debut of 2009. Stephen Curry’s electric debut with the Golden State Warriors as the point guard helped him quickly secure his place as one of the most popular NBA players at the time. His consistent performance since that debut has only helped increase the value of this autographed basketball card.

a 2022 Panini National Treasures basketball hobby box

Stephen Curry’s signed basketball card also features a classic, no-nonsense design, making it a timeless piece. The Logoman 1-of-1 is the piece to watch here, commanding the highest price on this list.

#2: 2003-04 LeBron James - Upper Deck Exquisite

The Lakers have been home to some of the NBA’s greatest, including the one and only LeBron. That said, his most valuable sports card actually dates back to his debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers, commemorated by the Upper Deck Exquisite Collection rookie patch card #78. One of only 23 cards, this rookie patch autograph sold for just over $5.1 million in 2021.

At the time of the sale, this sports card was the most expensive basketball card in the world. While LeBron’s mythical popularity is the biggest reason for this card’s value, there’s more than meets the eye here. This signed basketball card’s serial number, reaching up to 23, coincides with LeBron’s classic jersey number, making it a must-have for the fans.

#3: 2018-19 Luka Dončić - Panini National Treasures

Luka Dončić is one of the few elite basketball players who managed to carve out a name for themselves internationally before their NBA debut. Dončić’s professional career started out with Real Madrid Baloncesto, flowing smoothly into his 2018 debut with the Mavericks. With an average of nearly 22 points in his rookie season alone, it’s easy to see why this 2018 Rookie of the Year-winner’s autographed basketball card is so valuable.

The 2018 Luka Dončić National Treasures is one of the most popular Panini cards on the market. The Logoman 1-of-1 signed basketball card was last sold for $4.6 million to a private buyer in 2021. Surprisingly, the card hadn’t even been graded by a professional agency at the time of the sale!

a 2021 Panini National Treasures basketball hobby box

#4: 1997-98 Michael Jordan - Upper Deck

This six-time NBA champion is credited with drawing new international and domestic audiences to the sport with sheer charisma and skill. Eagle-eyed collectors will immediately notice that Michael Jordan’s most valuable sports card isn’t his 1986 rookie card. This 1997 card is currently valued at $2.7 million.

The 1997 Upper Deck signed basketball card is significantly more valuable than MJ’s rookie card because it’s the first to highlight his game-worn jersey. It’s not just any jersey either! Jordan wore this to the iconic 1997 All-Star game, also known as Magic Johnson’s last game.

#5: 1996-97 Kobe Bryant - Topps Chrome

No basketball card list is complete without a mention of the Black Mamba himself. The GOAT’s entry also marks the appearance of the first Topps sports card on our list. Many collectors also see this sports card as a throwback to an era of Topps dominance, before losing the license to Panini in 2009. Here’s what else makes this $1.8 million autographed basketball card so unique:

  • Grading: This signed basketball card earned the incredibly elusive BGS 10 Black Label rating, putting it in a highly exclusive group of graded sports cards. ‘Black Label’ is a term assigned to a select few cards that manage to score a 10 on every single BGS grading subcategory. In other words, it’s perfect.

  • Performance: Kobe is widely accepted as one of the greatest players to ever shoot a hoop. In a career spanning just over two decades, Kobe Bryant revived the Lakers and championed the team into one of its best eras.

a wide shot of a basketball court

Collect The Legends

Autographed sports card values are difficult to predict. The most important factor to consider here is, naturally, player popularity. Other factors, such as card rarity, condition, grading, and features like jersey patches, will also affect prices.

If you’re looking to build your own collection of signed basketball cards, you’ll want to start with a hobby box. Lineups like Panini Prizm hobby boxes offer two guaranteed autographed cards in each box, and with twelve packs per box, you never know what else you might find. Hobby boxes are the fastest way to build up a valuable sports card collection without breaking the bank.

To save even more, shop at Giant Sports Cards—online or in-store at our local card shop in the Atlanta area! From free shipping on orders over $199 to GOAT-level customer service, we’re the go-to choice for collectors all over the country. We also offer authentic autographed memorabilia and other TCGs like Pokémon cards, so you can round out that collection. Discover your next autographed basketball card with Giant Sports Cards today.