Many Basketball Card collectors today will tell you that the first release of Prizm Basketball, a Panini set from 2012-13, is perhaps the most popular (and profitable) line of Basketball cards in modern history. The look, the style, the quality, and the superstar classes have more than enough to offer, but the fact that it’s also the “first Prizm” year seems to matter to a LOT of people.
After ten years in circulation, Panini loved it so much that they made “retro” versions of current players in 2012-13 Prism-style parallels in the most recent release of Prizm Basketball cards – in case you want to add Ja Morant or Zion Williamson to your first-prizm showcase.
Two years ago, when I started a deeper dive into sports cards, this 2012 Prizm set was so popular that the prices and demand for rookies and famous players were soaring way out of reach. If you’re trying to do “sports cards on a budget,” then the Prizm rookies of Kawhi, AD, Dame, and Jimmy Butler were way above your pay grade. Forget about adding any Lebron silvers or graded Kemba Walker rookies to your shelves. And few of us could dream of ever affording 2012 Prizm Wax, let alone actually seeing a box in person somewhere.
Well, welcome to the 10-year anniversary, where the Hoops Card market is a bit more sensible, affordable, and attainable. The first-Prizm set still is what it is – loaded with Hall of Famer first-prizms but actually affordable to “normal” people like you and me. In other words, it might be the perfect time to treat yourself to a rookie card of Kyrie, Klay, Draymond, or Bradley Beal while they are affordable and available!
If you’re new to the hobby, then a “Basketball Cards 101” review of the 2012-13 Prizm should add to your Hoops knowledge and vocabulary. You should not only know that these are the classic, original, highest-standard Prizm releases… but you should also be able to rattle off all the major rookies in this class or keep them in mind if you see a possible deal at a show, online, or trading with friends.
So here’s an overview of some of the BEST cards in the set – cards that have hit super high values in the past, with potential to do it again in the future….
ROOKIES FROM 2012-13 PRIZM BASKETBALL….
KAWHI LEONARD – Most NBA fans would consider Kawhi to be the top player to get in this class, and he’s still adding to his legacy. At it’s peak, this card (Base PSA10) was fetching more than $4K back in April of 2020. Ah, the pandemic price pump! Today’s prices for the injury-frustrated superstar might finally have hit a market floor, selling for less than $600.
KYRIE IRVING – Here’s another superstar rookie card that’s bouncing between $300-$500. If you think the Nets have a long playoff run ahead of them, it might be a perfect flip (1-2 months) to resell a Kyrie PSA10. Kyrie has looked incredible over the last few weeks and could make some headlines in this next series against Boston.
KLAY THOMPSON – Here’s my mistake – I sold this card “raw” about two years ago for $50. I had no idea that a PSA10 would hover around $800 for most of the past two years, and a PSA9 would spike over $300 once he returned to the court this past season. Current PSA9 sells for roughly $130.
JIMMY BUTLER – Hall of Famer, no question. This PSA10 peaked at more than $1,000, but sits now around $180. I actually own a PSA9, and can’t figure out why he’s still sitting there at $75. Do people realize it’s Jimmy Butler?
DAMIAN LILLARD – It’s amazing how many guys on this list have struggled with injuries this season, which might make the Dame PSA10 an even better buy this summer. For more than a year, you couldn’t find this card for less than a G. A thousand dollars! It sold on April 10th for $360, making Lillard one of the best value buys in this class, but not nearly the bargain price of a Jimmy Butler.
ANTHONY DAVIS – Just one year ago, a PSA10 of this card was selling for more than $1,500. Today, it’s been selling on eBay for less than $350. Like him or not, AD is. first-ballot hall-of-famer and he may have more championships in his future.
DRAYMOND GREEN – I assume Dray is an obvious Hall of Famer, but this card in PSA10 form has never surpassed $400. Perhaps, as usual, GSW market gravitates to scorers like Steph and Klay. Like Jimmy Butler, Dray’s first Prizm10 goes for less than $200.
KHRIS MIDDLETON – Nobody is calling Khris the “Scottie Pippen of Giannis,” but perhaps they will when all is said and done. I bet you didn’t know that Khris is a 3-time All-Star, Gold Medalist, NBA Champion who has averaged more than 20 points per game over the past five NBA seasons. During last season’s NBA Finals, his 2012-13 Prizm PSA10 was fetching more than $350. During the last four weeks, it’s sold four times on eBay for $140 or less. Any chance the Bucks make another Finals run?
BRADLEY BEAL – In case you forgot, he’s another superstar from this class. The sales graph of his last two years with this PSA10 Prizm 2012-13 looks a LOT like all the other guys I mentioned above… way down from it’s peak, and perhaps hitting a floor here this Fall…
Other rookies of note… KEMBA WALKER, HARRISON BARNES, ANDRE DRUMMOND, TOBIAS HARRIS, NIKOLA VUCEVIC, JONAS VALANCIUNIS, JAE CROWDER, TRISTAN THOMPSON, ISAIAH THOMAS (THE OTHER ONE), JIMMER FREDETTE… and my list is probably too long unless you want me to say TERRENCE ROSS.
Superstars to Consider… I’d love to add a Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Dirk, or Shaq from this year to my collection. Think graded, silver versions of these players if you’re going for long-term or high value on them. But you can still find a lot of bargains on raw cards of veterans and buy them in lots. Or you can buy the 2020-21 “pretend” versions that Prizm released this past year as parallels of some of those same players.
What to BUY? Well, I’m not telling anyone what to do with your money. If I had just $50 to spend, I might buy two raw Khris Middleton rookies (base). If I had $100, a PSA 9 of Lillard or AD or Kawhi looks amazing. If I’m sporting $200, then I’m all over a PSA 10 of Jimmy Butler as if that’s a surprise. And, at $400, I’m looking at any silvers of Jimmy Butler or PSA10’s of Kawhi or Lillard or Kyrie, depending on timing and how long I’d like to keep the card.