Despite only being 24 years old, if feels like Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a long time veteran. Perhaps that’s because Gilgeous-Alexander, or SGA for short, entered the league at age 20 and has improved in multiple facets of his game every season. His game has taken a giant leap to where he’s knocking on the door of the superstar club of the NBA.
If you were savvy enough to see his potential during his 2018-19 rookie season with the Clippers and pick up some of his rookie cards, you’re feeling pretty good about that investment now.
The scorer out of Kentucky was acquired–along with a huge haul of first round picks–in 2019. George is a productive star, but the deal appears to have been a huge steal for the Thunder. In every season of his career, SGA’s points per game have risen, taking a huge leap so far between year four and year five. Some insiders believe he’s close to being the NBA’s top talent.
Even though his card prices have been trending upward for a while, it’s not too late to pick up a few. Here are some options for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander rookie cards at every price.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander rookie cards are featured in basically every Panini release during the 2018-19 season, so if you’re only looking to pick up some base cards to hang on to, you’re in luck. If you had to only pick a couple sets, you can’t go wrong with the Donruss Optic Rated Rookie and the Prizm base rookie. From sets like Chronicles and Status to Select and Illusions, there is a seemingly never-ending amount of lower end SGA cards to pick from.
Almost all of his base rookie cards can be had for $15 or less, and in some cases, significantly less. You’ll have to be on board with all of those cards either featuring Clippers pictures or Kentucky pictures, since we wasn’t traded until after his rookie season.
If college cards are more up your alley, or you are a Kentucky collector, SGA is featured in the School Colors and Game Day Tickets subsets of 2018-19 Panini Contenders Draft Picks.
SGA’s most affordable rookie autograph is his 2018-19 Contenders Draft Picks college ticket auto. Again, you may not be a fan of college cards, but it features an on-card auto, the classic Contenders design and the coveted RC rookie card logo in the top left.
SGA also has a couple of horizontal numbered memorabilia autos from classic sets, Absolute Memorabilia and Certified, at reasonable costs. The Tools of the Trade triple relic auto from Absolute Memorabilia features memorabilia such as jersey and basketball pieces along with sticker autos from SGA. The Freshman Fabric relic auto from Certified is the true rookie patch auto from the product and features a medium sized swatch with a sticker auto.
The above prices are subject to change, of course, particularly if he continues his fantastic play and especially if he gets traded to a larger market and/or a more successful franchise.
If money is no object and you and prefer high end cards, the go-to issues are usually National Treasures and Flawless. Yes, Panini has several other high end brands such as Opulence, Impeccable and Encased, but National Treasures and Flawless usually stand above them in terms of long term collectability and value. Both designs are clean, with the National Treasures RPA featuring a larger swatch and an on-card autograph. There are multiple low serial numbered cards to choose from for both.
Lower numbered color autos out of chromium sets like Prizm and Optic can fetch even greater numbers than National Treasures and Flawless cards, but there’s nothing quite like adding a rookie patch autograph of this magnitude to use as the basis for a long term hold.
You can check out all of ShaiGilgeous-Alexander’s rookie cards on eBay here and see a current list of the 50 most watched auctions for all of his cards below.
About Brendan Cross
Brendan Cross is a freelance journalist with a degree from San Jose State. A lifelong sports fanatic, his love of cards really blossomed in 2012 with the first release of Panini Prizm. He’s been hooked ever since, and he loves writing about it.