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Top Victor Wembanyama Rookie Cards To Target: The Best Of The Best

Updated: Jun 9

For much of the 2023-24 season, Victor Wembanyama has dominated the headlines. The Rookie Of The Year frontrunner has led to a 54% increase in viewers for the Spurs and it's with good reason.


Through 51 games, he's posted per-game averages of 20.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and a league-leading 3.3 blocks. While projecting Wemby as a future MVP and transcendent player in the NBA is straightforward, determining which cards of his to buy or collect is a whole other story.


Before Wembanyama's rookie season, Fanatics and Michael Rubin signed him to an exclusive autograph deal. While this was celebrated initially, it gave pause to some collectors who wondered, "Will Wemby have any licensed rookie autograph cards this season?" Unfortunately, the answer was "no" as Panini holds the license for NBA cards until 2025 and the two companies couldn't come to terms.


Victor Wembanyama posing with Michael Rubin for a photo of his first card he ever signed
Wembanyama shows off a Bowman card with the inscription, "1st card I ever signed"


This leaves collectors with a problem unlike one ever seen in the modern era of sports cards. The best/most hyped prospect since LeBron James will have NO licensed autographs or RPAs.


In an attempt to help basketball collectors navigate this unprecedented landscape, we will give you some of our top Wembanyama rookie cards to be on the hunt for (this guide may also be beneficial to collectors interested in other 2023 rookies with Fanatics exclusive deals, such as Brandon Miller or Scoot Henderson).


 

The Best Wembanyama Rookies



2023 Panini Prizm

Release Date: 2/21/2024

Cards/Parallels To Focus On: true Gold Prizm /10, Black Prizm 1/1, Choice Nebula 1/1


A picture of a Victor Wembanyama Gold Prizm /10
Victor Wembanyama Gold Prizm /10


These Prizm cards fall out of nearly every collector's price range, but they are still worth touching on. Prizm is a top-tier brand for collectors who enjoy cards with a chromium finish, and these three parallels rise above the rest.


The true Gold Prizm /10 is one of the only parallels that can be traced back to the inaugural Prizm release (2012), making it a clear choice as one of Wemby's best cards.


The Black 1/1 has a storied history in the product as well. It debuted in 2013 and is deemed by many collectors to be a rookie's first or second-best card produced.


The Choice Nebula 1/1 first appeared in the 2018 Prizm product, right as the hobby began to heat up. While it doesn't possess the same history as the Gold or Black Prizms, It is still without a doubt a top RC to own.


As mentioned above, since Wembanyama has no autographs, these cards will have considerable demand, especially when compared to other young stars who have autographs and RPAs available.



2023 Panini Crown Royale

Release Date: 4/12/24

Cards/Parallels To Focus On: Gold Kaboom /10, Green Kaboom 1/1


Victor Wembanyama Gold Kaboom /10


Another product that collectors cannot get enough of is Crown Royale. In addition to housing Rookie Silhouettes, some of the most aesthetically pleasing RPA's produced by Panini, the set also contains ultra-popular Kaboom inserts.


Kaboom cards made their first appearance back in 2013 under the Panini Innovation set. These explosive inserts have come back every year since, with the Gold and Green parallels first hitting packs in 2018.


Given the storied history of these cards and the extreme rarity of the Gold /10 and Green 1/1 Kaboom parallels, these will undoubtedly be some of Wembanyama's top rookies to own. Unfortunately, centering issues have plagued 2023 release of Kaboom cards. As of this writing, no Wemby Kaboom graded by PSA has received a grade higher than 8.


 

Conclusion


For now, this is where the list ends. Panini has announced additional sets for 2023, but nothing that touches the above cards mentioned. Topps has made an announcement regarding their game plan with Wembanyama unlicensed rookie autographs and plans to include some in their upcoming release of Topps Chrome basketball. The Superfractor 1/1 from this set has potential to make this list, with Topps Chrome having a strong brand name and marking the beginning of what will soon be the standard for chromium and autographed NBA rookies.



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