The big basketball releases keep rolling. So without further ado, let’s jump into the 2020-21 Select Basketball Review.
Following the 2020-21 Select Basketball release, the team at Cardlines wanted to dig into the product and give it a review, much like we recently did for Donruss Optic Basketball.
Select rounds of the big 3 of opti-chrome cards once again in 2020-21, and there’s a unique twist on this year’s product.
Let’s take a look.
Just like Panini Prizm, Panini Select basketball debuted in 2012-13—which just so happens to be an incredibly stacked (combined rookie class). Since then, the product has grown in offering and fans, and this year’s retail format allows even more collectors to get their hands on the typically hobby-only cards.
Since this is one of the last releases of the season, this product features rookies in their NBA jerseys.
What makes Select unique from Optic and Prizm is how it introduces three different “tiers” of rookie cards. From less to more scarce, they are concourse, premier, and courtside. Concourse cards make up the vast majority of the cards, but every hobby pack averages one card from either of the other two tiers. So on average, you can expect two courtside cards per hobby.
For Concourse and Premier levels, look for the following Prizm parallels:
Courtside has a more limited set:
Select appears to have learned from the 2020 football release, and to help keep the price of the hobby (base cards) high; the retail Select basketball cards are blue instead of silver. This is a clever way to separate the two, although, if anything, it seems to be driving the price of the retail base rookies up a bit more. Perhaps collectors will catch on soon.
This year’s Select has a number of inserts and hits.
The autographs include:
As far as inserts go, look for:
Each of the autographs and inserts has different parallels of rarity, so there are even more chances for big pulls!
If you’re hoping to invest in Select 2020-21, the first question to answer is if you should buy singles or wax. Or anything at all, for that matter.
Last year’s Select was released before the market completely exploded, and because of that, the price was about $400 for a hobby box. If you got in at that price, you did well. Those boxes now sell for $2200—over 5x the original price.
If you want to step back to 2018-19, those boxes currently sell for well over $6,000 and sometimes over $7,000.
That said, based on the same logic I used in my Optic review, I’d argue that the rookie class of 2017-18 might be a better comp because there’s no Zion and Luka.
Here is the current resell value of hobby boxes:
|2017-2018 Select Hobby Box||$2200|
|2018-2019 Select Hobby Box||$6500|
|2019-2020 Select Hobby Box||$2,800|
Based on those numbers, the sealed 2020-21 Select should be an excellent long-term hold at the $1,000 price for the 2020-21 hobby boxes. If you are the tried-and-true type that can hold a box without ripping, you might be flipping for a good return in a year or two. And to be entirely fair, the 2020-21 rookie class had one of the most unusual college and rookie seasons of any class ever, so they might be better than we think.
To get a feel for the long-term value of singles, let’s look at some PSA 10’s of recent rookies.
|2017 Jayson Tatum Courtside||$225|
|2017 Jayson Tatum Premier||$300|
|2018 Luka Doncic Courtside||$660|
|2018 Luka Doncic Premier||$720|
|2019 Zion Williamson Courtside||$170|
|2019 Zion Williamson Premier||$300|
|2020 LaMelo Ball Courtside||$35 (raw)|
|2020 LaMelo Ball Premier||$60 (raw)|
So what does this table show us?
Probably nothing we don’t already know: better players with the most potential sell for more money.
But it does reaffirm something I suspected: considering the premier rookie cards are significantly more rare than the courtside cards, they feel a bit undervalued by comparison (especially the Luka). So if you’re buying hoping to hold long-term, consider purchasing the premier. Many collectors might still be confused by the unusual rookie card structure of Select, and at some point, if they catch on, prices will reflect.
(Also, note the LaMelo’s are raw because of PSA’s current condition.)
Select has established itself as a popular product, and now with a retail offering, more collectors will be getting into it and learning more about it.
However, unlike what I determined about Optic, buying Select singles at their current price could be an excellent investment, especially after you grade them. Additionally, sealed products look poised to be an excellent long-term hold.
Never invest more than you can afford, but with an intelligent approach, there is money to be made with Select basketball 2020-21.