Anthony Marshon Davis Jr.'s path to NBA stardom began in Chicago, Illinois, where he dreamt of playing professional basketball from a young age. Despite his ultimate goal, Anthony Davis valued the significance of academics, attending Perspectives Charter Academy, known for their academic achievements rather than their athletic performance.
By the time Davis reached his junior year, he was 6'8", overpowering his competition. In his senior year at Perspectives Charter Academy, Davis recorded a remarkable stat line of 32 points, 18 rebounds, four assists, and seven blocks per game, putting him on the map. As such, Anthony Davis quickly became the number one college recruit from the class of 2011.
At the University of Kentucky, Davis became the most dominant player in the country. Davis led the Wildcats to a National Championship and captured college basketball's most prestigious honors, including but not limited to the John R. Wooden Award, Adolph Rupp Trophy, Naismith Award, and 2011-12 AP Player of the Year.
Considering all that Davis accomplished in his early playing years, he was fittingly selected as the number one overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. As a member of the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans, Davis evolved into one of the NBA's most promising players, though he had little playoff success with the franchise. In pursuit of an NBA title, Davis requested a trade from the Pelicans. In his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Davis helped the franchise capture its first NBA title in over a decade.
Now in his 10th NBA season, Davis has endured as one of the game's most renowned players, capturing an NBA title, eight All-Star game appearances, four All-NBA First-Team selections, and a member of the NBA's 75th Anniversary Team that highlights NBA's 75 greatest players in league history.
At just 28 years young, Anthony Davis has performed at a high level since entering the league and has the accolades to back it up. Since his lone season at the University of Kentucky, collectors have taken notice of Davis' promise, leading to the unparalleled value of his rookie cards. On that note, the following are Anthony Davis' 10 Best rookie cards to collect.
2012 Panini Signatures Anthony Davis Signatures Red RC #1 #'d/25
Recent sale: $515
Anthony Davis attended Perspectives Charter Academy in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to recording 32 points, 18 rebounds, four assists, and seven blocks per game, Davis also registered three triple-doubles and one quadruple-double in his senior season. Anthony Davis was invited to play in the McDonald's All-American game, the Jordan Classic, and the Nike Hoop Summit in his senior year of high school. By the time Davis left Perspectives Charter Academy, he was voted fourth for the Illinois Mr. Basketball, regarded as a five-star recruit, and the number one ranked player in the 2011 class.
We begin the list of the most valuable Anthony Davis rookie cards with his rookie card from 2012-13 Panini Signatures. Davis' rookie card is the first card of the Chase Rookies checklist, featuring his Signatures Red parallel rookie card, serial-numbered to 25 copies. Only nine of Davis' Red Signatures rookie cards have been graded to date, including two cards obtaining a PSA 10. The highest graded card from Beckett is a BGS 9.5, illustrated by a population of four. Davis' Red Signatures autograph rookie card is tied for his second-least condition sensitive card on the list as 22% warranted a PSA or BGS 10. However, it retains its lofty value due to being limited to only 25 copies.
Although Anthony Davis was relatively unrecognized until his senior year at Perspectives Charter Academy, his improbable 32-18-4-7 stat line initiated buzz, propelling him into the limelight. With that said, Davis' Red Signatures autograph rookie card from 2012-13 Panini Signatures is one of his most intriguing rookie cards.
2012 Panini Select Anthony Davis Autographed Jersey RC #270 #'d/149
Recent sale: $585
Anthony Davis was recruited by Kentucky, Ohio State, Syracuse, and DePaul, before ultimately signing his letter of intent with the Kentucky Wildcats, led by coach John Calipari. The number one ranked player out of Perspectives Charter Academy more than lived up to the hype. Anthony Davis averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.4 steals, and 4.7 blocks per game while leading the Kentucky Wildcats to a 38-2 record, including 16-0 in SEC play, en route to capturing the 2011-12 National Championship.
On April 4, 2013, Panini issued 2012-13 Panini Select to collectors featuring a 325-card checklist, including 100 rookie autographs and 75 rookie jersey autographs. Panini configured each 2012-13 Panini Select hobby box in two mini boxes, and each mini box contains seven packs of six cards. Anthony Davis's rookie card emerged from the Rookie Jersey Autographs checklist, limited to 149 copies. Davis' RPA from 2012-13 Panini Select earned a BGS 9.5, the highest awarded grade for this card from Beckett. Regarding the five cards that received a PSA 10 (9 cards graded overall) and the 44 cards graded by Beckett, Davis' RPA obtained a PSA or BGS 10 at a 9% clip.
While Davis received college basketball's most prestigious individual accolades, he also holds the 4th most blocks in a single season in college basketball history, recording 186 rejections. Considering his historical stats in his lone season at the University of Kentucky, collectors are eager to acquire Anthony Davis' 2012-13 Panini Select RPA card for its inherent value.
2012 Panini Totally Certified Anthony Davis Rookie Roll Call Autographs Red RC #3 #'d/79
Recent sale: $635
After guiding the Kentucky Wildcats to the promised land, Anthony Davis forewent his remaining three years of college eligibility, declaring his intent for the 2012 NBA Draft. On draft night, Anthony Davis was selected by the then-Charlotte Hornets as the first overall pick. In Davis' highly anticipated NBA debut on October 31, 2012, he scored a team-high 21 points on 6 of 12 from the field and went a perfect 9 for 9 from the free-throw line. Davis averaged 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game in his rookie season with the Hornets and was selected to the 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie Team. Following up his rookie campaign, Davis averaged a double-double in his sophomore season, recording 20.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks, which led the NBA in the 2013-14 season.
Anthony Davis' next cherished rookie card appears in 2012-13 Panini Totally Certified, issued to collectors on November 21, 2012, in six packs of five cards. Davis' Rookie Roll Call Autographs Red card is serial-numbered to 79 copies and is one of his most-condition sensitive rookie cards ever produced. Davis' Rookie Roll Call Autographs Red card acquired a PSA 10, along with two other copies. Only one collector received a BGS 10 out of the 32 cards submitted for grading, depicting that only 11% of Davis' Rookie Roll Call Autographs Red card earned a PSA or BGS 10.
In the 2013-14 season, Anthony Davis replaced the late Kobe Bryant, who was dealing with an injury, making his first All-Star Game appearance in just his second season. As one of the most condition-sensitive Anthony Davis rookie cards available, his Rookie Roll Call Autographs Red consistently fetches in the high three-figures.
2012 Panini Select Anthony Davis White Hot Rookies Prizms RC #1 #'d/25
Recent sale: $764
Anthony Davis led the New Orleans Pelicans to a 45-37 record in the 2014-15 season for his first playoff appearance before falling to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors. Davis recorded a double-double for the second consecutive season, averaging 24.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks, again leading the NBA amassing 200 blocked shots. Davis also led the league in two-point field goals made, recording 641, where he received the 4th most votes for Defensive Player of the Year and fifth in the NBA MVP voting. The Pelicans locked up Davis with a five-year $145 million contract during the offseason. In the 2015-16 season, Davis once again averaged a double-double, behind 24.3 points and 10.3 rebounds. After injuring his left knee and shoulder late in the season, Davis sat out the final 14 games of the Pelicans season, though not before recording 36 double-doubles across 61 games.
Anthony Davis' next most valuable rookie card once again emerges from 2012 Panini Select. Davis' previous card from 2012 Panini Select was his autographed RPA serial-numbered to 125. However, this Anthony Davis rookie card is featured in the White Hot Rookies checklist showcasing his Prizm parallel rookie card, limited to only 25 copies. Davis' rookie card obtained a BGS 9.5, representing only three cards graded higher.
In both his 2014-15 and 2015-16 NBA seasons, Davis flourished into an NBA superstar while harboring a double-double each time he took the court. Considering its scarcity and the notion that it is the first card of the checklist, Davis' White Hot Rookies Prizm rookie card from 2012 Panini Select holds tremendous potential.
2012 Panini Contenders Anthony Davis Gold RC #201 #'d/10
Recent sale: $976
In the first game of the 2016-17 season, Anthony Davis registered 50 points on 17 of 34 shooting, grabbed 15 rebounds, and amassed five assists, five steals, and four blocked shots, becoming the first player in NBA history to record 50 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, and five steals in a single game. Anthony Davis scored 28.0 points per game in the 2016-17 season, setting a new career-high. Although the Pelicans went 34-48 and finished 10th in the Western Conference, Anthony Davis showed promise for the franchise, recording 49 double-doubles in 75 games. Voters named Davis to the All-NBA First Team for the second consecutive season for his tremendous showing in the 2016-17 season.
The 2012-13 Panini Contenders set was issued to collectors in 20 packs of five cards, delivering four autograph cards in each hobby box. Anthony Davis' rookie card emerged from the Rookie Autographs checklist as a Gold parallel, serial-numbered to 10 copies, and his most limited rookie card on the list. As of writing, six of those 10 cards have surfaced, featuring four cards that obtained a BGS 9.5, representing the highest graded Anthony Davis Gold parallel rookie card from 2012-13 Panini Contenders.
Anthony Davis already established himself as one of the greatest players in Pelicans history through just five NBA seasons, surpassing Chris Paul's franchise record for points in a single season. As the most limited rookie card on the list and one of only two cards that haven't earned a PSA or BGS 10, Anthony Davis' Gold parallel rookie card from 2012-13 Panini Contenders is one of his most coveted rookie cards.
2012 Panini Preferred Anthony Davis Crown Royale Autographed Memorabilia RC #325 #'d/99
Recent sale: $1,026
Across 75 games in the 2017-18 season, Anthony Davis led the New Orleans Pelicans to a 48-34 overall record while registering 50 double-doubles in 75 games played. Before the All-Star break, Davis averaged 27.4 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game, to earn his fourth consecutive All-Star Game. Davis was even more dominant in the second half of the season, registering 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. In his second postseason appearance, Davis and the Pelicans swept the Portland Trail Blazers before falling to the Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals. Though, Davis showed his remarkable abilities in the postseason, averaging 30.1 points, 13.4 rebounds, 2.0 steals, and 2.3 blocks across nine playoff games.
Davis' next most sought-after rookie card emerged from the premium 2012-13 Panini Preferred set that offered one pack of four cards in each hobby box. Anthony Davis' Crown Royale autographed rookie card is one of the most cherished cards of the set, limited to only 99 copies. The sale of Davis' rookie card merited a BGS 10, one of only four cards to receive the most coveted grade from Beckett, other than Beckett's BGS 10 Black Label.
Behind his league-leading 2.6 blocks per game, Anthony Davis' stellar performance in the 2017-18 season earned him his first NBA All-Defensive First Team honor and his third appearance on the All-NBA First Team. As one of the most renowned players in the league, the value of Anthony Davis' 2012-13 Panini Preferred rookie card speaks for itself.
2012 Panini Select Anthony Davis Autographs RC #152 #'d/149
Recent sale: $1,625
Although Anthony Davis averaged 25.9 points in the 2018-19 season, 2.2 points less than the prior year, he increased his rebounds, assists, and steals totals, amassing new career-highs for rebounds (12.0), assists (3.9), and steals (1.6). By mid-January, Davis requested a trade from the Pelicans in light of finding another franchise that was in a better position to win an NBA championship. The 2018-19 season was Anthony Davis' final season with the New Orleans Pelicans, where he led the Pelicans to only three playoff games and captured just one playoff series.
Appearing for the third and final time of Anthony Davis' most expensive rookie card is the iconic 2012 Panini Select set. While Davis' 2012 Panini Select autograph rookie card is limited to 149, significantly higher than his White Hot Rookies Prizms rookie card, his autographed rookie card consistently fetches four figures. PSA has graded 21 cards, seven of which earned a PSA 10. In contrast, BGS has analyzed 66 of Anthony Davis' 2012 Panini Select autograph rookie cards, featuring just one copy obtaining a BGS 10. Overall, collectors have received a PSA or BGS 10 at a 9% clip for Davis' 2012 Panini Select autograph rookie card.
Davis' tenure with the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans may not have led to much playoff success, though Davis became one of the finest players in the NBA in his seven seasons with the franchise. As one of the best current NBA players in the league, collectors can expect to pay a premium price for Anthony Davis' 2012 Panini Select autograph rookie card.
2012 Panini Prizm Anthony Davis Prizms RC #236
Recent sale: $2,045
The New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers made a blockbuster trade in July 2019, sending Anthony Davis to the Lakers. In exchange, the Pelicans received Lonzo Ball (2018 All-Rookie Second Team), Brandan Ingram (2020 All-Star), Josh Hart (career 9.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG), draft rights to De'Andre Hunter (career 13.0 PPG, and 4.3 RPG), two first-round draft picks, the rights to swapping of a first-round draft pick, and cash. Although the Lakers gave up a fortune to acquire Anthony Davis, he meshed well with LeBron James in his first season with the Lakers, averaging 26.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists, en route to capturing the NBA title in the 2019-20 season.
Anthony Davis' third most expensive card materialized from 2012-13 Panini Prizm, one of the most coveted basketball sets in recent memory. Panini configured the 2012-13 Panini Prizm 300-card set in 20 packs of six cards, offering two autographs, two inserts, and two parallel cards in each hobby box. Combining PSA and BGS' population reports, Davis' Silver Prizms rookie card has an overall population of 209, marking his second least scarce rookie card.
While the Lakers provided the Pelicans with budding stars to acquire Davis, he led the Lakers to their first championship since the 2009-10 NBA season. Although Davis' Silver Prizms rookie card earned a PSA 9, and 35% of his total cards were graded higher, Davis' Silver Prizms PSA 9 generates a ton of attention and value, signifying the potential that a PSA or BGS 10 would command.
2012 Panini Immaculate Collection Anthony Davis Premium Patches Autographs RC #PP-AB #'d/75
Recent sale: $5,100
Now with an NBA title under his belt, Anthony Davis is the first NBA player to capture an NCAA Division I title (2012), a gold medal at the Olympics (2012), a gold medal at the FIBA World Cup (2014), and an NBA title (2020). Prior to the 2020-21 NBA season, Davis signed a massive five-year, $190 million contract with the Lakers, keeping him under contract until after the 2024-25 NBA season. Davis suffered from injuries in the 2020-21 season and showcased his most subpar performance since his sophomore season back in 2013-14 as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. In the pandemic-shortened 72 game season, Davis took the floor in just half of the Lakers games, averaging 21.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists across 36 games.
Panini debuted a new product for the 2012-13 NBA season, termed Panini Immaculate Collection. Panini issued the set in one pack, comprising just five cards. The premium set is loaded with both Rookie Patch Autograph and memorabilia cards, one of which being Anthony Davis' Premium Patches Autographs rookie card. Davis' Premium Patches Autographs rookie card is limited to 75 copies and is one of two cards that have yet to receive a PSA or BGS 10.
Davis succumbed to injury late in the Lakers 2020-21 season, hindering their ability to repeat as NBA champions. Despite this, Davis' Premium Patches Autographs rookie card continues to make ripples on the secondary market, routinely fetching four figures.
2012 Panini National Treasures Anthony Davis Autographed Memorabilia RC #151 #'d/199
Recent sale: $9,445
Bouncing back from his injury in the 2020-21 season, Davis is averaging 23.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.2 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game while averaging a career-best 53.7% field-goal percentage in the 2021-22 season. However, Davis once again succumbed to injury, first missing 17 games due to an MCL sprain and then injuring his right ankle, where he is currently expected to miss the next four weeks before being re-evaluated. The Lakers, currently 9th in the Western Conference after posting a 27-31 record before the All-Star break, need Davis in the lineup if they expect to make another playoff run.
Since entering the league in the 2012-13 season, Anthony Davis' rookie cards have been one of the most sought-after by collectors, none more than his autographed memorabilia rookie card from the highly cherished 2012-13 Panini National Treasures. Panini issued the set containing just 10 cards featuring an assortment of nine autographs, memorabilia, or printing plates in each hobby box. While Davis' autographed memorabilia rookie card from 2012-13 Panini National Treasures features his most populated card, serial-numbered to 199, it endures as his most valuable rookie card to date, fetching five figures. Between PSA and BGS, only 1% of Davis' autographed memorabilia rookie cards has earned a PSA or BGS 10, signifying his third-most condition sensitive card on the list.
The 2021-22 NBA season features a play-in tournament again this year, and as the Lakers remain 9th in the Western Conference, they are on the brink of facing the play-in tournament for a spot in the 2022 NBA Playoffs. Should Davis return in time to help the Lakers make a late run in the regular season and a playoff run in the Western Conference, Davis' 2012-13 Panini National Treasures autographed memorabilia cards will skyrocket.
AD's Path to the HOF
The NBA has a rich history of illustrious players, and for Davis to be named a member of the NBA's 75th Anniversary Team in just his 10th NBA season, and at the age of 28, shows his true dominance on a basketball court. Anthony Davis is devoted to the Los Angeles Lakers until the 2024-25 season, where he is committed to staying healthy and bringing another title to the city of Los Angeles. Already a lock to be a member of the James Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Anthony Davis has another decade to establish himself as one of the NBA's greatest players of all time. If Davis continues his stellar performance over the next decade, the value of his rookie cards will go through the roof.