13 Most Valuable Basketball Trading Cards

Even though basketball trading cards don’t fetch prices in the same league as football and baseball trading cards – think hundreds of thousands of dollars for the most valuable – there are still many enthusiasts who are going to be salivating over this list of the most valuable basketball cards ever.

1948 Bowman #69 George Mikan

Estimated PSA 9 Value: $90,000

George Mikan was basketball’s first big name and set the bar for others such as Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell who followed shortly.

1957 Topps #77 Bill Russell

Estimated PSA 9 Value: $85,000

Bill Russell’s rookie card is one of the most important in the hobby, but also one of the toughest as the card was a short-print and poor centering and low print quality have made it difficult to find a high grade example.

1980 Topps Larry Bird / Julius Erving / Magic Johnson

Estimated PSA 9 Value: $50,000

Today the 1980-1981 Topps set featuring Larry Bird, Julius Erving, and Magic Johnson on perforated mini cards is one of the most popular and sought after of any basketball card.

1969 Topps #25 Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 9 Value: $40,000

Lew Alcindor aka Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, made his basketball card debut in the 1969 Topps collection.

1961 Fleer #8 Wilt Chamberlain

Estimated PSA 9 Value: $35,000

Chamberlain was arguably one of the most dominant basketball players of all time and his 1961 Fleer rookie card is a favourite amongst enthusiasts.

1985 Prism Jewel Sticker Michael Jordan

Estimated PSA 9 Value: $25,000

Jordan certainly would’ve been a popular favourite on betting apps had they existed in the late 80s and the 1985 Michael Jordan Prism Jewel Sticker card is one of the most unusual on this list, featuring a hologram of Jordan going for a reverse dunk.

1961 Fleer #36 Oscar Robertson Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 9 Value: $22,000

Oscar Robertson aka “Big O” could do almost everything on the court and in 1962 famously became the first NBA player to average a triple-double.

1986 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan

Estimated PSA 9 Value: $21,000

No one averaged more points than Michael Jordan’s 30.12 per game average, making him one of basketball’s most fearsome offensive weapons of all time.

1960 Kahn’s Wieners Jerry West

Estimated PSA 9 Value: $20,000

Another unusual card to make this list is Lakers legend Jerry West’s 1960 Kahn’s Wieners card as these were regional issues distributed primarily in the Cincinnati area.

1961 Fleer #3 Elgin Baylor Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 9 Value: $20,000

Elgin Baylor’s gymnastic moves were something basketball had never seen before and he paved the way for other thrilling players such as Dr. J, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant.

1961 Fleer #43 Jerry West

Estimated PSA 9 Value: $19,500

Jerry West’s contribution to the Lakers teams as a player, coach, and executive cannot be overemphasized and his silhouette is even used as the NBA logo!

1957 Topps #17 Bob Cousy Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 9 Value: $12,500

Bob Cousy brought originality and creativity to basketball and he often wowed his fans with unpredictable and improvised passing techniques.

1950 Lakers Scott’s Potato Chips George Mikan

Estimated PSA 9 Value: $12,500

George Mikan’s black and white Al Papas illustration set against a light blue background is another regional rarity and was distributed only in Minneapolis.