Zion Williamson (07/06/00) is a power forward who was selected by the Pelicans as the first overall draft pick in 2019. He’s ridiculously hyped, and he’s the new 2K21 cover star. The young star signed the most lucrative shoe deal ever for a rookie with the Jordan Brand, and he’s not too bad on the court either!
Williamson was part of the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2020 and looks likely to build on a decent start with improved numbers and an injury-free season.
Here are five of the most valuable Zion Williamson rookie cards that are available right now, along with investment advice if you’re planning to board the hype train yourself.
5 Most Valuable Zion Williamson Cards
Williamson’s RCs have released in 2019-20 basketball sets, and there are hundreds to choose from when you account for the various parallels and special editions. Panini obviously recognized just how popular he would be as a set-seller, and you only have to check out the prices of the rarest options to see how true that actually is.
2019 Zion Williamson National Treasures 3-Color RC /99 #108
The first card is Williamson’s 2019 National Treasures. The base version is numbered to 99, with a simple blue and white design that doesn’t deviate from the norm. There’s a small image of Zion dunking on the left, with a large premium patch in the middle. The addition of an on-card auto is also a major bonus, making this one of the most valuable options that money can buy.
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The NT brand is valued as a premium edition no matter the player, with the perfect mix of style and quality. There is a range of rare parallels, which sell for eye-watering amounts.
Parallels: Gold (/10), Emerald (/5), Logoman (1/1)
FOTL Parallels: Stars & Stripes (/30), Stars & Stripes Blue (/3)
2019 Zion Williamson Donruss Optic RC #158
The 2019 Donruss Rated Rookies set is where you’ll find the next card. It has a simple image of Williamson with a ball clutched in both hands, alongside a ‘Rated Rookie’ logo at the bottom. It was an online exclusive, but that hasn’t stopped values rising in recent months.
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The rare one-of-one Gold Vinyl parallel was up for sale at auction recently, selling for over $52,000. It’ll be interesting to see how it fares in the future, but there are a number of more affordable colors from the set which could still make for a good investment piece.
Parallels: Holo, Checkerboard, Hyper Pink, Purple, Purple Shock, White Sparkle, Orange (/199), Lime Green (/149), Red (/99), Blue (/59), Purple Stars FOTL (/29), Pink (/25), Gold (/10), Lucky Envelopes (/8), Green (/5), Black (1/1), Gold Vinyl (1/1)
2019 Zion Williamson Panini Mosaic RC #209
The next card is another 2019 Williamson RC, which is easily distinguishable thanks to the background design. The Panini Mosaic features an image of the player mid-dribble, wearing his no.1 Jersey.
It wouldn’t be a Prizm release without the addition of lots of parallels, adding a range of new colors to the traditional rainbow. These include a couple of hyper-rare options, such as the Nebula or Black versions. The Mosaic might not be as prestigious as some of the other sets on the list, but it’s a worthy choice nonetheless.
Parallels: Base Silver, Base Mosaic
Mosaic Parallels: Red, Blue (/99), Purple (/49), White (/25), Camo Pink, Genesis, Green, Reactive Blue, Reactive Orange, Orange Fluorescent (/25), Blue Fluorescent (/15), Pink Swirl FOTL (/11), Gold (/10), Green Swirl FOTL (/10), Black (1/1)
Choice Mosaic Parallels: Peacock SSP, Fusion Red (/88), Black Gold (/8), Nebula (1/1)
Fast Break Parallels: Silver, Blue (/85), Purple (/50), Pink (/20), Gold (/10), Black (1/1)
2019 Zion Williamson Select RC #199
Williamson’s 2019 Select is next up, but we’re going to ignore the base card/s as we’re looking at the most valuable options for the purposes of this list. (There are three base versions in this set, numbered #1, #199, and #297 respectively.)
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The base cards are pretty cheap, so any of the serial numbered Prizm parallels are worth checking out from an investment perspective. There are four separate parallel types, including die-cut cards and Disco Prizms.
Prizms Parallels: Silver, Scope, Tri-Color, Zebra, Neon Orange Pulsar FOTL (/13)
Die-cut Prizms: Blue (/249), Maroon (/175), Purple (/99), Orange (/65), Tie-Dye (/25), Gold (/10), Green (/5), Black (1/1)
Disco Prizms: Base Disco, Red (/49), Blue (/25), Gold (/10), Green (/5), Black (1/1)
Wave Prizms: Red, Gold, Lucky Envelopes (/8)
2019 Zion Williamson Panini Spectra Color Blast RC #3
We’re finishing up with an SSP card that is arguably the best looking option on the list. Once again, Williamson has two base cards from the Spectra set, but we’re looking at a rarer option that is insanely valuable when looking at higher grades.
The Color Blast subset features a landscape Zion card that has a lined image of the player in motion. There’s a plain white background, but multicolored smoke takes over the sides, which is a great visual effect. It has a small RC logo in the bottom right corner, and the 25-card set has only the very best that the NBA has to offer.
As a Super Short Print, it doesn’t have a serial number, and it’s rare to see a card popping up on the market.
Zion Williamson Rookie Cards: Investment Advice
Williamson has the weight of the league on his shoulders, but his unique combination of physicality, athleticism, and skills, as well as strong mental attributes, means that he has the necessary talents to go far in the NBA.
That is of course, barring injury. He sprained his right knee in February 2019 and ended up missing the first 44 games of his rookie year while recovering from surgery. He still made 24 appearances, and Williamson ranked first among all rookies in points per game, second in rebounds per game, and first in offensive rebounds per game with 2.7.
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He still made the NBA All-Rookie First Team which is no mean feat, and he has been working to improve his overall fitness to avoid further injuries in the future.
With so many parallels to choose from it can be difficult to decide on which Zion card to invest in. After all, a Prizm card is a Prizm card, even if they were released in different 2019 Panini sets. However, there’s a distinct difference in value depending on the brand and the print run.
Obviously, the one of one options are the most valuable overall, giving the owner a unique piece of Zion merch which is only likely to increase in price as he heads into his second season in the NBA.
Many of the rarest Williamson RCs will sell for five figures, vastly exceeding the average prices of NBA collectibles. Picking up a rarer card is a high risk, high reward scenario, but the evidence suggests that his cards will still continue to pick up in price as he adds to his personal trophy cabinet over the years.