Most Expensive Basketball Cards

Basketball card collectors will spend big to secure two types of rare cards, vintage cards in perfect condition and low-numbered modern cards of NBA superstars. A list of the most expensive basketball cards usually involves both. At the top of the list is the first true pro basketball superstar.

George Mikan rookie cards and other rarities picturing the former Minneapolis Lakers sensation command some of the biggest prices. In December of 2009, one of his cards sold for $218,550 at a Memory Lane Inc. auction. Not only was it his rookie card, but it was in the same condition it was when it was made. The card was the 1948 Bowman #69 George Mikan, with a grade of PSA GEM MINT 10. Any Mikan rookie is valuable, and on eBay his rookie card with a grade of PSA EX-MT 6 sold recently for $3,063.23.

Any complete sets that have a Mikan card go for big money, but there are probably more collectors that want the Mikan cards than the full sets. Not only was Mikan in 1948 Bowman but in 1948-49 Exhibits Sports Champions, 1948 Kellogg's and 1950-51 Bread For Health and 1951 Bread For Energy.  As these are bread labels there will be very few in high grade, but when they do appear in as-new condition they go for strong prices. Two Bread For Health Mikans sold in 2012 with low grades. A George Mikan graded SGC 20 FAIR 1.5 sold for $1,279.25 at a Mile High Card Company auction and another sold at SCP Auctions, that was graded SGC FAIR 20 and sold for $1,172.00.

Michael Jordan cards can obtain high prices. Selling for $13,000 on eBay in 2012 was his 1984-85 Star #101 extended rookie card, with a grade of BGS 9 MINT. That card and his Fleer 1986-87 rookie card often have the highest values.

Fleer Jordan rookie cards have been rising in value on a steady basis despite tens of thousands in the market or in personal collections. High-grade Jordan cards have proven to be very good investments.

However, collectors can actually open more recent packs and find expensive Jordan cards, too. One example of this was his Fleer Retro autographed 1997-98 E-X Jambalaya Buyback. The bidding went up to $29,299.69 in the fall of 2012, as this card is a 1 of 1.

Buyback cards should continue to bring strong prices, especially Jordan cards like his 2001-02 Ultimate Collection Buybacks. Michael Jordan autographed older Upper Deck cards, and these along with an accompanying certificate were in the Ultimate Collection packs. There are 1 of 1 cards, and others with only two or three ever made.

There are also graded rookie cards of Chamberlain, West, Russell and other superstars that go for  hundreds--sometimes a few thousand dollars in ultra high grade. A Larry Bird-Magic Johnson rookie card--which also includes Julius Erving from the 1980-81 Topps set was graded PSA 10 GEM MINT and sold for $16,000.  PSA 7 examples sell for around $175 with 8's at about $400-500.

The most expensive basketball cards typically involve high grade rookie cards of the game’s greatest icons.

1970 TOPPS #143 JO JO WHITE HOF/ROOKIE PSA 9
1970 TOPPS #143 JO JO WHITE HOF/ROOKIE PSA  9 $67.01 (7 Bids)
Time Remaining: 30m
1986 Fleer Basketball #57 Michael Jordan Bulls Rookie PSA Authentic ALTERED
1986 Fleer Basketball #57 Michael Jordan Bulls Rookie PSA Authentic ALTERED $500.00
Time Remaining: 6d 19h 10m
Buy It Now for only: $500.00
1970 TOPPS #150 WILLIS REED HOF PSA 8
1970 TOPPS #150 WILLIS REED HOF PSA 8 $23.05 (7 Bids)
Time Remaining: 31m
PSA 9 MICHAEL JORDAN 1985 NIKE BASKETBALL ROOKIE BULLS RARER THAN 1986 FLEER RC
PSA 9 MICHAEL JORDAN 1985 NIKE BASKETBALL  ROOKIE BULLS RARER THAN 1986 FLEER RC $199.99
Time Remaining: 29d 1h 6m
Buy It Now for only: $199.99
1970 TOPPS #155 HAL GREER HOF PSA 8
1970 TOPPS #155 HAL GREER HOF PSA 8 $12.50 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 32m
1970 TOPPS #160 JERRY WEST HOF PSA 8
1970 TOPPS #160 JERRY WEST HOF PSA 8 $44.50 (8 Bids)
Time Remaining: 33m
1986 Fleer Basketball #26 Clyde Drexler Rookie Card SGC 96 MINT 9
1986 Fleer Basketball #26 Clyde Drexler Rookie Card SGC 96 MINT 9 $39.99
Time Remaining: 29d 17h 9m
Buy It Now for only: $39.99
1970 TOPPS #168 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #1 KNICKS (REED) / LAKERS (WEST) PSA 8
1970 TOPPS #168 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #1 KNICKS (REED) / LAKERS (WEST) PSA 8 $15.50 (4 Bids)
Time Remaining: 34m
1970 TOPPS #168 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #2 KNICKS /LAKERS (GARRET) PSA 8
1970 TOPPS #168 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #2 KNICKS /LAKERS (GARRET) PSA 8 $14.00 (5 Bids)
Time Remaining: 35m
1986 Fleer Basketball #109 Isiah Thomas Rookie Card SGC 86
1986 Fleer Basketball #109 Isiah Thomas Rookie Card SGC 86 $19.99
Time Remaining: 29d 17h 20m
Buy It Now for only: $19.99
1970 TOPPS #171 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #4 KNICKS/LAKERS JERRY WEST PSA 8
1970 TOPPS #171 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #4 KNICKS/LAKERS JERRY WEST PSA 8 $30.00 (6 Bids)
Time Remaining: 37m
1970 TOPPS #172 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #5 KNICKS BILL BRADLEY/LAKERS PSA 8.5
1970 TOPPS #172 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #5 KNICKS BILL BRADLEY/LAKERS PSA 8.5 $10.50 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 38m
1986 Fleer Basketball #3 Mark Aguirre Rookie Card SGC 96 MINT 9
1986 Fleer Basketball #3 Mark Aguirre Rookie Card SGC 96 MINT 9 $19.99
Time Remaining: 29d 17h 14m
Buy It Now for only: $19.99
1970 TOPPS #173 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #6 KNICKS/LAKERS WILT CHAMBERLAIN PSA 9
1970 TOPPS #173 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #6 KNICKS/LAKERS WILT CHAMBERLAIN PSA 9 $62.75 (19 Bids)
Time Remaining: 39m
1970 TOPPS #174 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #7 KNICKS/WALT FRAZIER PSA 8
1970 TOPPS #174 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #7 KNICKS/WALT FRAZIER PSA 8 $45.75 (8 Bids)
Time Remaining: 40m
1961-62 FLEER BASKETBALL JERRY WEST ROOKIE #43 PSA 4
1961-62 FLEER BASKETBALL JERRY WEST ROOKIE #43 PSA 4  $250.00
Time Remaining: 29d 1h 39m
Buy It Now for only: $250.00
1970 TOPPS #175 KNICKS CELEBRATE/WORLD CHAMPIONS PSA 8
1970 TOPPS #175 KNICKS CELEBRATE/WORLD CHAMPIONS PSA 8 $224.72 (19 Bids)
Time Remaining: 41m
1986-87 Fleer Bernard King Base Card #60 BGS 9.5 GEM MINT
1986-87 Fleer Bernard King Base Card #60 BGS 9.5 GEM MINT $51.04 (10 Bids)
Time Remaining: 49m
Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer Rookie RC #57 PSA 8.5 w/ 9 Qualities ~WELL CENTERED~
Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer Rookie RC #57 PSA 8.5 w/ 9 Qualities ~WELL CENTERED~ $1,899.99
Time Remaining: 29d 22h 10m
Buy It Now for only: $1,899.99
1971 Topps Rick Barry RC #170. PSA 8 NM-MT. BEAUTY ! Well Centered
1971 Topps Rick Barry RC #170. PSA 8 NM-MT. BEAUTY ! Well Centered $86.50 (16 Bids)
Time Remaining: 50m

« Previous12345