Zion Williamson was drafted 1st overall in the 2019 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans after one year at Duke University. Williamson was one of the most highly touted basketball rookie prospects in recent memory and as a result, the NBA Hoops Zion Williamson Rookie card is already popular with collectors.
Williamson’s performance on the floor has not disappointed and his basketball card values reflect that. Williamson has averaged 23 points | 7 rebounds | 3 assists | 1 steal through ~50 games over two seasons according to Basketball Reference, and his cards continue to be highly valued.
I have spent several hours analyzing basketball rookie cards and player stats to find the best card investment opportunities. I have also compiled an overview of Zion Williamson Rookie Cards and disclosed my investment of ~$2,000 in his cards.
Below, you will find a comprehensive list of NBA Hoops Zion Williamson RCs.
Overview of NBA Hoops Zion Williamson Rookie Card Variations
Zion Williamson NBA Hoops RCs consist of numerous variations, including:
- Base: the foundational Williamson rookie card in the NBA Hoops set
- Parallels: these are variations of the ‘Base’ card and typically include a colored boarder and / or special reflective gloss
- Autographs: these cards will include an authentic Zion Williamson autograph
- Memorabilia: these cards will include a piece of Williamson memorabilia such as a jersey or sweater
- Inserts: these are image variations of the set and include “Arriving Now” “Class of 2019” and more
With so many variations, it can feel overwhelming, especially considering this is only one set of many Zion Williamson Rookie Cards.
Generally, collectors and investors prefer Base, Parallels, and Autographs, so those are usually your best bet for investment. Some inserts, such as “Arriving Now” may also be popular, and I will share more details on that below.
1. Base Zion Williamson NBA Hoops RC #258 (Buy on eBay)
The base Zion Williamson NBA Hoops rookie card is among the more popular Williamson cards with collectors and investors, though not as popular is Williamson’s Prizm cards.
The card features a white boarder with the “RC” logo at the bottom-left, the Pelicans logo at the top-left, and the NBA Hoops logo at the top-right. The player image of Williamson shows him with the basketball in his left-hand as he approaches the hoop for a dunk or lay-up.
As of February 2021, there are ~4,000 PSA 10 graded Zion Williamson NBA Hoops RCs and the card costs ~$115.
2. Zion Williamson NBA Hoops RC Parallels #258 and $296 (Buy on eBay)
There are at least 20 parallels of the Williamson NBA Hoops rookie card and two image variations: #258 and #296. There are parallels of both images.
Non-numbered parallels include the following (listed alphabetically):
- Neon Green
- Purple Winter
- Red Backs
- Teal Explosion
Numbered parallels include the following (listed in descending order to most rare)
- Premium Box Set – #/199
- Silver – #/199
- Red – #/75
- Green – #/99
- Blue Explosion – #/49
- Teal – #/49
- Artist Proof – #/25
- Orange – #/25
- Orange Explosion – #/25
- Red Explosion – #/15
- Gold Artist Proof – #/10
- Black Artist Proof – 1/1
Below are a few examples of NBA Hoops Zion Williamson Rookie Card Parallels:
3. NBA Hoops Zion Williamson Teal Explosion #258 (Buy on eBay)
This card is not numbered, but only ~50 PSA 10 versions of this card exist as of February 2021 and the card has been valued at as much as ~$600.
4. NBA Hoops Zion Williamson Purple Winter #296 (Buy on eBay)
This image variation of the Zion Williamson NBA Hoops rookie card features a white boarder with the “RC” logo at the top-right, the Pelicans logo near the top-left, and the NBA Hoops logo at the bottom-right. Williamson has just released a pass in the photo.
The ‘Purple Winter’ parallel includes the image of snow falling in the background of the photo.
5. NBA Hoops Zion Williamson Autograph Cards (Buy on eBay)
There are at least five variations of Zion Williamson Hoops Autograph rookie cards and each has a custom design and image.
Below are the five Williamson autograph cards from the set (listed alphabetically):
- Art Signatures Autograph
- Great Significance Autograph
- Hot Signatures Rookies Autograph
- Premium Box Set Tribute Autograph
- Rookie Ink Autograph
All Williamson autograph rookie cards command high prices, and the Hoops variations are no different. Even the lowest priced variations are valued at $300+.
Below is one example of a Williamson autograph from the 2019 NBA Hoops set.
NBA Hoops Zion Williamson Hot Signatures (Buy on eBay)
The Hot Signatures NBA Hoops Zion Williamson card is one of the five variations of his autograph cards in this set.
The BGS 9.5 / 10 graded version of this card has recently sold for $1,000+ at auction.
6. NBA Hoops Zion Williamson Memorabilia Rookie Cards (Buy on eBay)
There are at least three variations of Zion Williamson Hoops Memorabilia rookie cards and each has a custom design and image.
Below are the three Williamson memorabilia cards from the set (listed alphabetically):
- Rise N Shine Memorabilia
- Rookie Sweaters
- Rookie Sweaters Dual
Memorabilia cards are typically not valued as much as rare parallels or autograph cards, but multi-color ‘patches’ (term used for memorabilia) and rare variations can at times increase the price.
Below is one example of a Williamson memorabilia card from the 2019 NBA Hoops set:
NBA Hoops Zion Williamson Rookie Sweater (Buy on eBay)
The NBA Hoops Rookie Sweater Zion Williamson card features an image of Williamson in a New Orleans Pelicans Christmas sweater.
This card is typically valued at ~$50-60 and could be a fun gift around the holidays.
7. NBA Hoops Zion Williamson Insert Rookie Cards (Buy on eBay)
There are at lest four variations of Zion Williamson Hoops Insert rookie cards and each has a custom design and image.
Below are the four Williamson insert cards from the set (listed alphabetically):
- Arriving Now
- Class of 2019
- Rookie Special
- We Got Next
Like memorabilia cards, Insert Cards are typically not valued as much as rare parallels or autograph cards, but rarity and a “cool factor” can increase the price of inserts.
For example, the “Arriving Now” variation is the most searched NBA Hoops Zion Williamson Insert card according to Google Search Trends.
Below are a few examples of Zion Williamson Insert Cards from the 2019 NBA Hoops set:
NBA Hoops Zion Williamson Arriving Now (Buy on eBay)
The NBA Hoops Arriving Now card looks like a cross between an ad for Lufthansa and a basketball card. However, collectors and investors love all things Silver and Gold, so it is no surprise that this card is popular.
As of February 2021, there are ~400 base PSA 10 graded cards and the card value is ~$80.
NBA Hoops Zion Williamson Rookie Special (Buy on eBay)
The NBA Hoops Rookie Special is meant to look like an “NBA Hoops” magazine cover. The card features Williamson with pursed lips and wide eyes holding the basketball with his left-hand as he approaches the rim.
There are less than 100 PSA 10 graded Williamson Rookie Special cards, and the card value is ~$210.
Investment Advice for NBA Hoops Zion Williamson Rookie Cards (Buy on eBay)
Our investment advice exists at two levels: (1) Player, and (2) Set specific
With respect to whether we recommend investing in the player, please see Zion Williamson Rookie Cards for our point-of-view.
With respect to whether we recommend investing in NBA Hoops cards, the answer is absolutely, but only if you have already decided to invest in Zion Williamson.
NBA Hoops is one of the oldest basketball cards sets in existence and one of the first released each year. As a result, demand for this set is relatively steady and we see little risk to a decrease in demand having an outsized effect on NBA Hoops specifically.
So which card should you buy if you invest in NBA Hoops?
We believe this has a lot to do with personal preference, but we like the base card, any numbered parallel (e.g., Silver), autograph cards especially with high grade, and both the “Arriving Now” and “Rookie Special” inserts.
The “Arriving Now” and “Rookie Special” inserts may carry more risk since they are not traditional ‘base’ rookie cards, but the relatively low PSA 10 count and ‘cool’ design may result in significant price appreciation if Williamson performs well.