Before the Houston Rockets drafted him as the second overall pick in the 2021-22 NBA draft, Jalen Green was already turning heads with his excellent performances for San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, California.
He led the team to a second-place finish in the CIF Division II, and a quarterfinals finish in his freshman year.
Due to his outstanding performances in the competition, he won the CIF Central Rookie of the Year award and made the MaxPreps Freshman All-American Second Team.
He went one better in his sophomore year, took the team to the Central Section Division II title, and became MaxPreps National Sophomore of the Year.
As you can tell from his decorated high-school career, there is plenty of hype surrounding Jalen Green, which has caused his rookie cards to draw a lot of interest from collectors.
This article will focus on the top five early rookie card picks that you can add to your collection.
More Jalen Green rookie card options will become available as new cards get released. However, some collectors like to gather early releases, making them highly desirable by investors and collectors worldwide.
Top Seven Early Rookie Card Picks: Jalen Green Rookie Cards
The “Top 7 Early Picks” rookie card category includes cards you can purchase early in the collecting season.
1. 2021-22 Donruss Rated Rookie Jalen Green #209 (Shop on eBay)
Donruss Basketball is a popular NBA set released each year by Panini. Like all prior years, the brand features the highly recognizable “Rated Rookie” logo on all rookie cards. This modifier is among the most frequently used when searching for Jalen Green rookie cards on Google. Given the popularity and price point, this is among our favorite rookie cards each year.
The 2021-22 Donruss Basketball set features several rookie parallels including:
The Donruss card design is classic and this Jalen Green rookie card is no different. Green is holding the basketball with his right hand wearing his red Houston Rockets uniform.
2. NBA Hoops Jalen Green Rookie Card #218 (Shop on eBay)
NBA Hoops Basketball is first set released featuring rookies in their professional uniforms. Earlier sets such as 2021-22 Chronicles Draft Picks features rookies in their college uniforms.
Collectors/investors typically continue to buy, sell, and trade NBA Hoops rookie cards long after their debut season. For this reason, I like NBA Hoops as an early season, affordable rookie card option.
Panini created several inserts and parallels of Jalen Green Hoops rookie cards including:
The card features Jalen Green in his red Houston Rockets uniform dribbling the basketball with his left-hand. Due to cards red boarder, the card’s frame matches Green’s uniform. A nice bonus for a very cool Jalen Green rookie card!
3. 2021-22 Chronicles Draft Picks Jalen Green (Shop on eBay)
Firstly, we have the 2021-22 Panini Chronicles Draft Picks Jalen Green rookie cards. The 2021-22 Chronicles Draft Picks series contains several Panini cards, including Chronicles, Prizm, Select, Donruss, and others.
Every player is normally depicted in their college uniforms in the Panini Chronicles Draft Picks series. However, as Green didn’t go to college, he is dribbling in a blank black jersey, playing in the NBA G League.
Every year, these cards get released earlier in the season, while collectors wait for the NBA counterpart to get released.
The serial number of the card differs depending on the brand of the card. Here are a few examples:
- Chronicles Draft Picks #4
- Donruss Rated Rookies #29
- Hoops Retro Base Set #54
- Mosaic Base Set #254
- Select Base Set #279
4. 2021-22 National Treasures Collegiate (Base) (Shop on eBay)
Suppose you are looking for a Jalen Green early release rookie card that perfectly encaptures the traditional feeling of basketball cards. In that case, you will do well to find a better option than the 2021-22 National Treasures Jalen Green rookie card.
Despite its simplicity, this card is extremely stylish. Where other cards depict Green either slightly to the left or the right of the center, the National Treasures card is extremely symmetrical and attractive.
At the top of the card is the National Treasures logo, and Jalen’s name acts as the footer of this card.
In this card, Jalen Green is in his NBA G League jersey, bringing the ball up the court and deciding what play he will initiate for his team.
5. 2021-22 Immaculate Collegiate Patch/Relic (Shop on eBay)
Next, we have the 2021-22 Immaculate Collegiate Jalen Green Patch rookie card.
As with other cards on this list, the card shows Jalen Green in his NBA G League jersey, as he opted to play there rather than at college.
This card is also desirable for early card collectors because of the relic it includes. The Immaculate series is well known and trusted by collectors worldwide, and as such, their rookie cards are often sought after by many collectors.
The Immaculate logo features in the bottom left-hand corner of the card, along with Green’s name.
Above that, the image shows Green shouting instructions to his teammates mid-game. Immaculate also uses the black, grey, and white colors of his jersey within the card’s background.
6. 2021-22 National Treasures Collegiate RPA (Shop on eBay)
Number four on this list is the 2021-22 National Treasures Collegiate Jalen Green RPA. This card is one of the more expensive early rookie top picks on this list, and for a good reason.
For starters, the card is by the highly regarded and valued National Treasures brand. Secondly, the card comes with Jalen Green’s signature, one of the first cards ever to include this feature. The fact that this card is one of the first to include his signature immediately adds value and desire for collectors.
Finally, it also includes a patch from his time playing in the NBA G League. As you would expect, these patches are not worth as much as an NBA RPA, but given the fact that they have not got released yet, this card is one of the top cards available today.
The card shows Jalen Green in action in the NBA G League, possibly waiting to receive a pass or in defense.
7. 2021-22 Immaculate Collegiate RPA (Shop on eBay)
Finally, we have another Jalen Green RPA on this list. The 2021-22 Immaculate Collegiate Jalen Green RPA card is very impressive.
As with the National Treasures RPA, we have just discussed, the Immaculate Collegiate RPA has many similar features.
This rookie card also includes a patch from Jalen Green’s time in the NBA G League and Green’s autograph underneath the patch.
What I like about this card, though, is the colors. While most collegiate Green cards focus on the black and white of his NBA G League jersey, Immaculate opted to include a touch of red in the design, and the finish is stunning.
In this card, Jalen Green has the ball as he drives towards the opposition basket on the way to another high-performing game.
2021-22 Jalen Green Rookie Cards Preview
Panini releases new rookie cards throughout 2022 and the most popular sets are often released late in the 2021-22 NBA season.
To help you find your favorite cards, we estimated release dates of the most popular sets. Please note that Panini is behind which may mean hobby sets arrive after the forecasted dates below.
2021-22 Popular Panini NBA Basketball Releases
Panini Contenders Basketball: Contenders is popular for its Rookie Ticket autograph cards. Panini plans to release this set on April 13, 2022.
2021-22 Prizm Basketball: Prizm can be considered the flagship NBA release each year. This set is trendy and will feature many rookie ‘chase’ cards. We expect Panini to release this set sometime between April and June 2022.
2021-22 Select Basketball: Select features multiple base card ‘levels’ and a chrome finish that collectors love. Panini may release this set in July or August 2022.
2021-22 National Treasures Basketball: National Treasures is among the most expensive and popular Panini sets. This set is especially well-known for its RPA cards. Panini may release this set in August or September 2022.
2021-22 Donruss Optic Basketball: Donruss Optic is the high-end variation of the base Donruss set. Optic features a glossy finish that collectors/investors love. Panini may release this set in September or October 2022.
2021-22 Mosaic Basketball: Mosaic is a relatively new set, but is already popular with collectors/investors likely due to its glossy chrome finish. Panini may release this set in November or December 2022.
2021-22 Flawless Basketball: Flawless is a super-premium set that features some of the most highly sought-after and expensive cards in the hobby. Panini may release this set in January 2023.
Jalen Green 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.
We classify Jalen Green rookie cards as High Risk with High Upside potential. The Houston Rockets drafted Green 2nd overall in the 2021 NBA Draft. He is only 20 years old in the 2021-22 NBA season. As of April 2022, Green averages 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. His stats are strong for a 20 year old rookie, but he will need to improve significantly for his rookie card values to appreciate.
Similar to Cade Cunningham rookie cards, we expect Green’s to be among the most highly sought-after during the collecting season. We like Green, but keep in mind his cards carry high risk until he has proven himself in the NBA.
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