Trae Young rookie cards have never been more popular as we head into 2022, with almost all cards seeing a large increase in value.
Trae Young rookie cards have seen this rise in value thanks to his 2021 NBA Playoffs performances, where he was one of the most decorated young players.
This recent rise in value, and Young’s consistent high-performance level in the NBA, means investing in a Trae Young rookie card is a great option for any collection.
Young’s rookie season started as the 5th draft pick by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2018-19 NBA Draft, before ending up at the Atlanta Hawks through a trade.
Young is not the only excellent player from the 2018-19 draft either, with Luka Doncic and Michael Porter Jr also featuring in that draft.
Since his draft, he has been tearing up the league and is starting to make a name for himself as a high-performing player in important matches.
In a rush? Here are our favorites from each of the categories included in this list (links to eBay):
- Most Popular: Prizm #78
- Economical: Donruss Rated Rookie #198
- Autograph: Prizm Rookie Signatures #RSTYG
- RPA: National Treasures RPA
- Rare Insert: Panini Crown Royale Kaboom!
Most Popular Trae Young Rookie Cards
The “Most Popular” rookie card category includes cards most searched for on Google and transacted on eBay. These cards are likely to be collectible long-term because they are popular with investors and collectors.
1. 2018 Trae Young Prizm Rookie Card #78 (Shop on eBay)
One of the most popular Trae young rookie cards is the 2018-19 Trae Young Prizm #78. Many collectors see this card as a staple of any rookie or Trae Young collection.
There are rarer cards on this list and cheaper ones for you to pick from, but it is popular due to this card falling under the Panini Prizm brand.
As most collectors know, Panini Prizm cards are popular, especially for high-performing players like Trae Young. Prizm is one of the most searched basketball card terms on eBay, and these cards sell frequently on eBay.
Due to its popularity, the Trae Young Prizm is an excellent choice for any collection.
The card shows Trae Young, striding towards the basket, likely about to make another layup for the Atlanta Hawks.
Young is in his black and red Hawks jersey, and the background and footer of the card also use these colors.
Parallels of this card include:
A PSA 10 of this rookie card was recently purchased for $150 in December 2021.
2. 2018 Trae Young Optic Rated Rookie #198 (Shop on eBay)
Another extremely popular Trae Young rookie card many collectors are keen to acquire for their collection is the Trae Young 2018-19 Donruss Optic NBA rookie card.
Even back in 2018-19, the Donruss Optic NBA set was one of the most popular card sets today! For that reason, “Donruss Optic NBA” is often searched on eBay.
Given Trae Young’s status in the league, any of his rookie cards carry a certain level of interest, but the Donruss Optic NBA Trae Young rookie card is one of the most popular.
The 2018-19 Donruss Optic NBA set boasted the Optichrome series, packed with rookie cards, including Young.
In a 2018-19 Donruss Optic Hobby box, you will find 80 cards in total. One of those cards is an autograph, and 20 of them are parallels or inserts.
As collectors have come to know about any Donruss card set, cards in the 2018-19 Donruss Optic collection have a stunning glossy finish and are of high quality.
You can also see that it is sporting the iconic “Rated Rookie” logo, collectors adore.
In December 2021, a PSA 10 of this Optic rookie card got sold for $90.
3. 2018 Trae Young Select #45, #142, and #249 (Shop on eBay)
I love the Select rookie cards, as they have some significant differences from more common rookie card styles.
For example, Donruss or Prizm rookie cards only offer one base variant per player, along with various parallels.
However, the Select rookie series is special because each rookie card has three different base set variants. Each of these base set variants has a more limited print run than the last, making each one rarer.
The concourse base set version is the easiest Select Trae Young rookie card to add to your collection. Next on the list is the premier Select Trae Young rookie card, and finally, the courtside Select Trae Young rookie card.
The rarer the card, the more desirable it becomes to other collectors.
I also love the design of this card. The Select series draws on the black color used in the Atlanta Hawks jersey to create a dark and stunning card.
Fun fact: Select includes three levels which all have a lower print count than the last:
Budget Trae Young Rookie Cards
The “Budget” rookie card category includes cards that are both popular and typically less expensive than cards included in the “Most Popular” category.
4. 2018 Trae Young NBA Hoops Rookie Card #250 (Shop on eBay)
Given how well Trae Young has performed in the NBA since his rookie year, it comes as no surprise that there is plenty of demand for any Trae Young rookie cards, and collectors are still trying to get their hands on them.
Over the last few years, card collection and trading have had somewhat of a resurgence, even for older rookie cards.
One great economical option to add to your collection is the Trae Young 2018-19 NBA Hoops rookie card.
The NBA Hoops Young rookie card is aesthetically different from other options on this list, with the unique background style.
Beyond that, the card depicts Young bringing the ball up the court for the hawks. NBA Hoops often choose pictures of rookie players dribbling the ball rather than shooting.
There is no denying that some Young rookie cards are flashier and more eye-catching than this one, but if you prefer more traditional card styles, this card could be the one for you.
There are more than 25 parallels of the base card, including:
A PSA 10 of Trae Young Hoops rookie card was recently purchased for $65 in December 2021.
5. 2018 Trae Young Donruss Rated Rookie #198 (Shop on eBay)
Another brilliant economic Trae Young rookie card is the 2018-19 Trae Young Donruss Rated Rookie.
This rookie card was one of the first Trae Young NBA rookie cards released by 2018-19 Donruss basketball.
For keen rookie card collectors, this Trae Young Donruss Rated Rookie card is one of the best economical card choices you can get.
As well as the popular base card, the Donruss choice pack offers exclusive parallels, as do the hobby packs.
Here are some of our favorite parallels:
The Donruss Rated Rookie card is similar to the Donruss Optic Rated Rookie card without a chrome finish, making it a more affordable choice.
It features the Rated Rookie logo and shows Young mid-dribble, about to make a play for the Atlanta Hawks.
A PSA 10 graded version of this card sold for $65 in December 2021
6. 2018 Trae Young Revolution Rookie #150 (Shop on eBay)
This card is one of my favorite Trae Young rookie cards for many reasons.
For starters, the image of Trae Young dunking is not widely found across rookie cards, making the 2018-19 Trae Young Revolution rookie card immediately stand out from others.
Secondly, it is such a unique and stunning background! Many cards depict Trae Young on the court or with a plain background, but the Revolution rookie uses a unique pattern.
The colors reflect the team colors of the Atlanta Hawks, and I think it looks like the base of a court shoe, although that is up for debate.
Finally, I love this card because it incorporates the Atlanta Hawks logo in the bottom left corner and the stunning Revolution logo in the top right.
As far as economic cards go, this is one of the most stunning. A PSA 10 of this economical rookie went for $80 in December 2021.
7. 2018 Trae Young Chronicles Rookie Card (Shop on eBay)
As a man who runs a blog and has a passion for journalism, the Chronicles series is always interesting. And that interest does not wane regarding the 2018-19 Trae Young Chronicles rookie card.
There is little difference between this rookie card and other Young rookie cards if you only look at the picture of Young in action. Here, he is mid-lay up, as he is in many other rookie cards.
However, the rest of the card design sets this card apart from other choices on this list. For starters, it has the beautiful and iconic Chronicles logo featured in the bottom left-hand corner of the card.
The card is also unique as it comes with a headline message that reads “Young Serves Youth.”
The colors this card uses align with two of the main Atlanta Hawks team colors, black and red.
If you want to collect a Trae Young rookie card that differs from many others collectors, the Chronicles 2018-19 rookie card is a great choice.
Trae Young Autograph Rookie Cards
The “Autograph” rookie card category includes signed cards from popular and unique basketball card releases. This category excludes rookie patch auto (RPA) cards because those cards feature in a subsequent section.
8. Trae Young Prizm Rookie Signatures #RSTYG (Shop on eBay)
The first Trae Young autograph rookie card you should think about including in your collection is the 2018-19 Trae Young Prizm Rookie Signatures #RSTYG.
This card features within the same set as the Trae Young Panini Prizm card but is rare due to the autograph.
It is also much harder to find, as the print run was much lower on this card version, and many collectors desire Prizm Trae Young autograph cards.
In December, A PSA 10 Trae Young Prizm Rookie Signature card got bought for $1500.
If you have deep enough pockets, this autograph card is a great option for your collection.
9. Trae Young Contenders Rookie Ticket Autograph (Shop on eBay)
The Contenders Rookie Ticket rookie card range is another unique option to make this list. Rookie ticket cards provide collectors with the usual aspects of rookie, such as the player’s name and an image of the player’s mid-game.
However, it also comes with a ticket from an NBA game that Trae Young played in, which features alongside the image of Young playing for the Atlanta Hawks.
Not only that, but this version is the 2018-19 Young Contenders Rookie Ticket Autograph, making it much rarer than many cards on this list.
If you manage to find a PSA 10 grade of this card, expect to pay a premium rate to add it to your collection.
10. Trae Young Opulence Rookie Autograph (Shop on eBay)
Another excellent Trae Young rookie autograph card is the 2018-19 Trae Young Opulence Rookie Autograph.
I like cards where the image and information are center-aligned, as it is in this rookie card. The top of the card shows off Trae Young mid-dribble, with the autograph, Opulence logo, player name, and team name, all stacked below the image.
Another cool aspect of this card is the color scheme Opulence chose. While many rookie cards utilized the black and red colors of the primary Atlanta Hawks jersey, Opulence opted to use the white and gold colors of one of their lesser-used jerseys.
In December 2021, this Trae Young rookie went for an impressive $660, so get ready to dive deep into your pockets if you want to add this card to your collection.
11. 2018 Trae Young Panini Noir Autograph (Shop on eBay)
I am always a fan of brands that take traditional basketball card traits, flip them on their heads, and create something new.
That is what Panini Noir did. The 2018-19 Panini Noir Trae Young Autograph rookie card is a real beauty.
It shows Young either grasping for a rebound or going up for the tip-off, casting a stunning shadow on the background behind him.
The Noir logo is at the top of the card, with the ball sitting in the middle of the “O.” Underneath Young sits the autograph.
Despite this card only using minimal colors and focusing more on striking minimalistic imagery, it is still an eye-catching card and one that would look great in your collection.
12-14 Other 2018 Trae Young Rookie Card Autographs
12. Encased Trae Young Rookie Autograph: Encased features only five-cards-per-box including one-graded autograph. A few lucky collectors/investors pulled this cool Trae Young rookie autograph card.
13. Donruss Optic Trae Young Rookie Autograph: This Donruss Optic card features the popular “Rated Rookie” icon along with a clean Trae Young autograph along the bottom of the card.
14. Certified Rookie Roll Call Autograph: Panini Certified features a more affordable Trae Young rookie card autograph option. Several collectors/investors recently purchased this card for less than $300 (as of Jan. 2022).
Trae Young RPA Cards
The “RPA” rookie card category includes rookie patch autograph cards from popular and unique basketball card releases. This category includes some of the most highly sought-after and expensive rookie cards.
15. Trae Young National Treasures RPA (Shop on eBay)
Any National Treasures rookie card will take a basketball card collection to the next level. But when you find a National Treasures rookie card that also contains the stars’ autograph and patch, then you know you’re onto a winner.
That’s exactly why the 2018-19 Trae Young National Treasures RPA made this list.
The National Treasures brand has grown in popularity since its inception, and they are widely regarded as one of the leading high-quality card brands.
In total, a National Treasures hobby box contains just ten cards. Four of those ten cards are relics, and four are autographs.
This percentage might make you think you could easily get your hands on this card but think again.
Rookie cards of high-caliber players like Young are hard to come by, not to mention ones that also include his patch. Add that to the fact that this box is from the 2018-19 season, and you will start to realize just how elusive this card is for collectors.
16. 2018 Trae Young Immaculate RPA (Shop on eBay)
Another excellent option if you have the budget for it is the 2018-19 Trae Young Immaculate Rookie Patch Auto.
However, it is worth pointing out that high-rollers highly seek after this card, so don’t anticipate you will find it easy to get this card.
Due to the fact, this rookie card contains a patch, Young’s autograph, and he has had a phenomenal start to his career, so expect to see a high price tag on a PSA 10 grade.
This rookie card depicts Young dribbling the ball up the court for the Atlanta Hawks on the right-hand side of the card.
The rookie patch features on the left-hand side, with the Immaculate logo above the patch and Young’s autograph below it.
The background colors of this rookie card are black and red, the primary colors of the Atlanta Hawks.
17. 2018 Trae Young Flawless RPA (Shop on eBay)
After immediately swapping to the Mavericks in the 2018-19 NBA draft, Young had a lot of pressure and attention on him when he took to the court as an Atlanta Hawks player.
However, in his fledgling career, Young has already shown that he does not shy away from the pressure of being an NBA player and has quickly become a key player for the Hawks, with particularly good performances in the playoffs.
One of the best Young rookie patch auto cards you might add to your collection is the Trae Young Flawless RPA. Despite being one of the pricier options, collectors have always admired Panini Flawless RPA’s.
That desire does not waiver when it comes to the Trae Young Flawless RPA, so don’t expect to find one easily. Due to the popularity and rarity of this card, it will be a hard one to add to your collection.
18-22. Other 2018 Trae Young RPA Cards
Panini manufactured a wide variety of Trae Young RPA cards. If you didn’t find the perfect RPA card for you above, check out these five other options:
18. 2018 Panini Noir Trae Young RPA: Noir features black and white colorways with some pops of color which looks great with the Hawks’ Yellow, Red, and Black colors.
19. 2018 Panini Cornerstones Trae Young RPA: Cornerstones features 4 ‘stones’ where the patch is located. It’s one of the more unique RPA designs.
20. 2018 Panini Encased Trae Young RPA: Encased features a smaller patch compared to more high-end brands, but the on-card auto is a nice feature.
21. 2018 Panini Spectra Trae Young RPA: Collectors/investors will find more affordable Spectra RPA cards compared to many other brands on this list.
22. 2018 Panini Crown Royale RPA: The Crown Royale RPA often features a crown, a multi-color patch, and an on-card Trae Young autograph.
Trae Young Rare Insert Cards
The “Rare Inserts” rookie card category includes rare and highly sought-after rookie cards. The cards on this list will be among the most expensive rookie cards available.
23. 2018 Panini Crown Royale Kaboom! #25 (Shop on eBay)
To begin, I love the Crown Royale Kaboom design and I know many collectors/investors feel the same.
Basketball collectors will have a hard time finding this rare insert. Panini included only 25 players in the 2018-19 Crown Royale Basketball Set, and finding just one of these cards will be a challenge.
For the lucky few collectors/investors who find a Trae Young Kaboom rookie card, you have landed yourself an amazing card.
There are a few reasons that the Trae Young Kaboom rookie card is a popular chase card. Kaboom uses high-action and artistic imagery for starters, and the Trae Young rookie card is no different. Here, he is depicted mid-leap with both hands on the basketball in his black Atlanta Hawks uniform.
The card features a background of shimmering stars and the word “Kaboom!” along the side of the card.
24. Trae Young Cornerstones Downtown #12 (Shop on eBay)
If you are a fan of cartoonist cards, rather than the traditional card styles found in the Hoops collection, for example, then you will want to consider getting a 2018-19 Trae Young Panini Cornerstones Downtown rookie card.
At first glance, downtown cards are striking to look at, but often people miss the depth of information in the designs.
For starters, the backdrop of this card shows the skyline of Atlanta, the team that Trae Young plays for. On top of that, it also depicts two hawks mid-flight. These hawks represent the team name, the Atlanta Hawks, and they are mid-flight, similar to Young in this shot, as he goes up for a layup.
This downtown rookie card offers collectors a lot of information, cleverly pulled together in a unique and artistic design.
Trae Young Rookie Card Risk and Upside Analysis
Note: please keep in mind that all sports card investments carry risk, and you should always complete your own analysis prior to investing in sports cards.
As of the 2021-22 NBA season, we classify Trae Young’s rookie cards as Moderate Risk with Moderate Upside potential. He has the the skill set and mentality to be a perennial NBA All-Star and potential Hall of Fame and NBA Championship player. That said, he is only in his 4th NBA Season and still needs to reach major career milestones before we can lower his risk profile.
Personally, I like Trae Young. He appears to be a winner, but only time will tell whether Young and the Hawks can win championships.
What do you all believe?
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