As my taste in card-collecting has evolved, I’ve found myself gravitating more towards the “live-action” cards as opposed to those of a player standing in an awkward pose against a shiny background with fire-infused lettering. I’ve written about a couple in the Iverson and Giannis posts and here is another I’ve been focusing on lately: the Panini Chronicles Luka Doncic Rookie Card.
Something about seeing Luka on the court doing what he does best, leading the charge with the crowd behind him attracts me in a way Silver Prizms never could. In fact, looking at the background of this card is an experience in itself, rows and rows of every-day people now forever immortalized on in our card collections.
But aesthetics are only half the reason I’ve been so enamoured with this card, the analytics being the other.
First off, with a population of just 136 PSA 10s, the Panini Chronicles is one of the least populous Luka base cards out there, making them particularly attractive to buyers seeking scarcity in a market that has seen an explosion of nearly 15,000 Prizm base cards PSA 10s over the past 2 years. And while the Prizm is the clear market-leader for now, my hunch is that in a market that’s historically valued scarcity more than nearly all else, the lower-population Luka cards should see unbalanced growth as the industry continues its upward trajectory. Drilling deeper into the numbers, it appears the data has already begun supporting this theory.
Of all of Luka’s most popular base cards, not only is the Panini Chronicles the one with the most limited supply, but also the one with the strongest growth since the August market peak. Taking a look at the image below, we can see that over the past 3 months the best-performing Luka base rookies are the Mosaic with 53% percent growth, followed by the Optic and Prizm at 28% and 18% growth respectively.
But looking at the Panini Chronicles, we can see that it has blown the others out of the water, putting up an impressive 78% growth over the same time period, with price consistently printing both higher highs and higher lows.
Of course, with such a low population, the sample-size is always going to be a bit of an issue when trying to make big predictions or widespread generalizations but when looking at the NBA card market as a whole, and especially Luka’s dominant corner of it, I’m personally betting on the numbers being an accurate representation of a longer-term trend by buying in now.
And at only $300-$400 each, this is one Luka rookie that is still within the reach of the average collector, though hopefully not for long.