An In-Depth Guide To NBA Hoops 2022-23 [Updated w/checklist]

January 11, 2023

Basketball is back and NBA Hoops is kicking off the action for the ’22-23 season. It’s set to release on January 6th and is are currently selling for only $125 – the best price we’ve seen in years!

In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know, including how it compares to Donruss, this year’s best inserts, and which NBA rookies are worth an investment in the back half of the season.

Shop for 2022-23 NBA Hoops Hobby Boxes on eBay

About NBA Hoops 2022-23

Every year NBA Hoops is an exciting release for basketball fans as it is often thought of as the first real basketball release of the season.

Sure there are some collegiate and instant products already out. But if you’re looking to get your hands on the first Paolo Banchero, Benedict Mathurin, and Jaden Ivey cards in their NBA uniforms, NBA Hoops ’22-23 is the product you’re looking for.

NBA Hoops is generally considered to be a low/ mid-tier release. You’ll get 192 cards in a hobby box so there are a lot of base cards. Still, with 24 parallels and tons of rookies, NBA Hoops is a fun rip at a reasonable price. 

A few years back, NBA Hoops dropped the hobby box from 2 autos down to 1. Despite some grumbling from the community, the 22-23 release will, again, only feature 1 auto.  

Historically, NBA Hoops was a late October release, which coincided with the first week of the season. However, in ‘20-21 release was pushed back to February, and Panini seems to have since settled on a January release date, as that’s what we’ve seen the last two years.

The later release date is interesting because it allows us to see a bit of the season before NBA Hoops hits the shelves. We’re starting to get an idea of which players are poised for postseason action, and the narrative around the top rookies is starting to shift.

How NBA Hoops compares to Donruss Basketball

NBA Hoops is often thought of as a similar product as Donruss Basketball. Both have early release dates, are in a similar price bracket, and come with tons of cards.

Here’s a look at the important information from last year’s Hoops and Donruss hobby boxes for those who are on the fence between the two products:

NBA Hoops '21-22Donruss '21-22
Avg. Selling Price in Dec '22$132$191
Total Cards192300
Inserts/ Parallels2460
Autos11
Release DateDec 31st, 2022Feb 25, 2022

So which is a better buy? Well, it depends on what type of collector you are.

NBA Hoops is better for someone who:

  • Is looking to get their hands on the product as early as possible 
  • Wants the most affordable hobby box on the market
  • Doesn’t want as many base cards
  • Is mostly concerned with the auto (both have 1 auto, Hoops has the lower price)

On the other hand, Donruss is the better buy for collectors who:

  • Are especially interested in the rookie class (Donruss’ Rated Rookie is one of the most recognizable rookie cards out there)
  • Are ok with paying a little more
  • Want a lot of base cards to complete a team/ league set 
  • Care more about the number of parallels than number of autos

Shop for 2022-23 NBA Hoops Hobby Boxes on eBay

Inserts and Parallels

Panini has released a few mockups from Hoops ‘22-23. Here are my favorites:

Rookie Ink

Hoops’ four autographed inserts are Hoops Ink, Rookie Ink, Hot Signatures, and Hot Signatures Rookies. Rookie Ink is my favorite of the four.

Not only is it generally the most valuable, but I also love the look. This mock-up clearly leans into the trend of “color explosions” that have made inserts like Kaboom! so popular.

The only critique I have with this card is the use of three different fonts for the words at the bottom. Otherwise, I think this is the auto card to chase.

Shop for 2022-23 Hoops rookie ink cards on eBay

Throwback

As the name suggests, Throwback features stylistic choices that harken back to some of the classic Hoops cards from the 90’s.

For those who collect older Hoops cards, you’ll recognize that the picture of Morant is cut out in an arch shape, similar to the picture shape used on classic Hoops cards (except the classic versions were a more of a lower-case n shape instead of a u.)

Spark Plugs

Spark Plugs is one of a few inserts that features a select group of players who are known for a specific brand of basketball. For example, last year’s “Jam-Tastic” insert featured guys like Giannis, Zach Lavine, and Lebron – all players known for their above-the-rim prowess.

Spark Plugs is new insert, and I think the mock-up looks great. You can feel the energy from this card, and the crafty and explosive third-year star Anthony Edwards was the perfect player to showcase as a spark plug type player.

Shop for 2022-23 Hoops Spark Plugs on eBay

2022-23 NBA Hoops Hobby Box breakdown

The 2022-23 NBA Hoops Hobby Box hobby box was released on January 6th and was selling for around $125 at the time of release.

Shop for 2022-23 NBA Hoops Hobby Boxes on eBay

Here’s what each hobby box will contain:

  • 8 cards per pack,
  • 24 packs per box
  • 20 boxes in a case

And here’s what Panini has released about the card breakdown inside:

  • 24 inserts/ parallels
  • 1 auto

2022-23 NBA Hoops Blaster Box Breakdown

Panini hasn’t given us any information about other release formats, but in the past Hoops has been a retail staple and we’ve had blaster boxes with:

  • 8 cards per pack,
  • 11 packs per box

These will have some retail exclusive inserts (last year was the well-received SLAM insert) and no guaranteed autos

Shop for 2022-23 NBA Hoops Blaster Boxes on eBay

NBA Hoops 2022-23 checklist info

While we won’t know exactly which players will be included until the product officially drops, NBA Hoops is known for having one of the biggest base sets. Here’s a breakdown of what we saw last year:

2022-23 NBA Hoops base cards

  • 250 Veterans
  • 50 Rookies
  • 20 Tribute Cards (Mix of vets and legends)

All of the base cards featured the following parallels:

  • Anniversary Edition
  • Blue
  • Green Ice
  • Hyper Blue
  • Neon Green
  • Purple
  • Purple Winter
  • Red Backs
  • Teal Explosion
  • Winter
  • Yellow
  • Silver #/199
  • Green #/99
  • Hyper Red #/99
  • 75th Anniversary #/75
  • Red #/75
  • Blue Explosion #/59
  • Artist Proof #/25
  • Hyper Green #/25
  • Orange Explosion #/25
  • Red Explosion #/15
  • Artist Proof Gold #/10
  • Hyper Gold #/10
  • Artist Proof Black 1/1

We should see most of these parallels and odds back for the ‘23 base set, other than the 75th-anniversary ones. A majority of the inserts and memorabilia cards have some sort of colored parallel as well but vary depending on the specific card. 

Investing in NBA Hoops 2022-23

NBA Hoops Wax

At $125 NBA Hoops is an interesting buy.

In the past few years buying wax for lower-tier NBA products (like Hoops and Donruss) has been bad holds. Last year Hoops was preselling for as high as $245. Right now, you can get a sealed hobby box for $132.

This year, however, we might finally be seeing a market correction on the presell price. I personally doubt that we will see the price go up too much (NBA Hoops interest always fades once the bigger products come out), but there’s a good chance it doesn’t bleed value over the course of the year.

YearAvg Dec '22 Selling Price
2021$132
2020$175
2019$325
2018$470
2017$300

There’s obviously a bit of variability in value from year to year. 2018 and 2019 products will always see a bump because of the Luka and Zion value. 2017 products are more valuable because of shorter print runs — there are only 341,000 graded cards from the ’17 set compared to 807,000 graded in ’18.

So, if we consider those seasons to be outliers, the ’20 and ’21 values are probably better predictors of the ultimate price of the ’22-23 product. If we expect this thing to settle in the low to mid $100 range, buying in at $125 is a more reasonable ask than in previous years.

NBA Hoops singles

The timing of the NBA Hoops as a mid-season release makes it perfect for collectors trying to invest and sell before the playoffs. As we all know, the playoffs are when players’ values can swing wildly.

Jordan Poole saw a PSA 10 of his Prizm RC shoot up from $39 to $180 during the Warriors title run last postseason. The card has since plummeted back to $43.

If you’re interested in rookies who could potentially make an impact this postseason, Hoops will be one of the only products with PSA-graded singles of this year’s rookies out by the time they start in April. I talk more about this flipping strategy in my Absolute Football article.

Rookies to watch for the playoffs

So which rookies are looking at playoff action? Here are 3 guys to keep your eye on as the back half of the season unfolds:

1. Benedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers

The Pacers have been the surprise team of the season, and Benedict Mathurin has been its surprise rookie. Mathurin has provided a huge scoring spark off the bench and has been the benefactor of one of the game’s best passers in teammate Tyrese Haliburton.

As of today, the Pacers are firmly in the mix for some playoff action and Mathurin should get big minutes come April.

Benedict Mathurin rookie cards in 2022-23 Hoops

2. AJ Griffin, Atlanta Hawks

AJ Griffin was a bit of a question mark coming into the draft as injuries had hampered some of his mobility and explosiveness during his freshman season at Duke. He fell to the 16th pick and is now looking like the steal of the draft.

So far Griffin has been shooting well (35% from 3) and is putting up 10 points a game for a Hawks team that is right in the thick of it in the East. Griffin is still being slept on so you might be able to get him for a bargain.

But in the playoffs, where the ability to play defense and knock down 3’s will keep you in the rotation, Griffin should see bigger minutes and more attention.

AJ Griffin rookie cards in 2022-23 Hoops

3. Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings

It’s crazy that we’re talking about the Kings, the franchise with the longest post-season drought in any major American sports (17 years), as a playoff team. But here we are, 25 games into the season, and the Kings are currently 4th in the West.

Murray was picked to be an instant impact player for Sacramento and so far, he’s been just that. Murray has already established his spot as a starter.

If the Kings hang on for playoff action, and especially if they get out of the first round, Keegan Murray will be one of the most talked-about rookies this postseason.

Keegan Murray rookie cards in 2022-23 Hoops

Final thoughts on the NBA Hoops 2022 23

NBA Hoops is the first non-collegiate basketball release of the ’22-23 season. While it’s not a high-end product by any means, it does offer a crisp and classic base card, and is an inexpensive way to get your hands on this year’s rookies.

Hoops is a great rip, which can be hard to find these days. There’s a rookie and an insert/parallel in every pack, and at $125 it’s the best value we’ve seen for this product in years.

Other recent basketball releases

NBA Hoops 2022-23 checklist