Luka Doncic took the NBA and the basketball card hobby by storm following his impressive rookie season.
His best, and most valuable, rookie card is his 2018-19 Panini National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph card, which has a 1-of-1 parallel version that is one of the most expensive basketball cards ever sold; I’ve covered that and all his other best rookies further down.
Table of Contents
Top Pick: The Best Doncic Rookie Card
The Best Luka Doncic Rookie Cards To Buy
With Panini having the basketball license, all of Doncic’s rookie cards are produced by them, but while the 2018-19 cards are considered his rookies, he does have earlier releases from Upper Deck during his Real Madrid days, from as early as 2016-17.
Here’s the top picks:
2018-19 Panini Prizm Luka Doncic #280
As you’d probably expect, the 2018-19 Panini Prizm Luka Doncic rookie card is one of his most popular – It’s the base Doncic rookie to have.
While the Prizm brand isn’t known for its rarity, the popularity among collectors for the chromium line makes up for it. It’s more known for the large array of parallels, which come in varying scarcity, with some of the rarest selling for big money compared to the standard base card, which can be picked up for around $100 in top grades.
A Black Gold Prizm parallel version (/5) has sold for as much as $216k before, which makes it one of his most expensive unsigned rookie cards.
2018-19 Panini Flawless Luka Doncic Diamond #81
In contrast to the Prizm rookie card, the 2018-19 Panini Flawless Diamond Doncic rookie is much more limited and hard to get hold of, with just 20 copies.
The high-end brand offers a base Luka Doncic rookie card that has the appeal of being so rare – Something for collectors with a bigger budget.
2018-19 Panini Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Luka Doncic #177
The 2018-19 Panini Donruss Optic set offers a chromium version of the regular Donruss set.
It also comes with a lot of parallels, although not quite as many as the Panini Prizm set, which gives collectors many different price entry points.
The Rated Rookie line is well-known and popular in the hobby, which gives this card a bit of extra appeal to collectors.
2018-19 Panini Crown Royale Luka Doncic #63
One of the most unique Luka Doncic rookie cards, the 2018-19 Panini Crown Royale card. The classic die-cut crown shape has been a signature of the set since the mid 90s.
The base card has high-end features, but isn’t on the higher end of the value scale. The card does have some crystal parallels which add a bit of extra appeal and value.
2018-19 Panini Select Luka Doncic #25 Concourse, #122 Premier, #229 Courtside
The 2018-19 Panini Select set is home to 3 different Luka Doncic base rookie cards. The 3 cards have different designs and images, and vary in rarity.
The Concourse card (#25) is first, and is the most common, so technically takes the RC tag. There’s also the rarer Premier Level card (#122), and the even more rare Courtside card (#229). All 3 are good options for a Doncic base rookie card – The Courtside card holds the most value.
2018-19 Panini Court Kings Luka Doncic #117 (I), #145 (II), #177 (III), #201 (IV)
Panini Court Kings takes an artistic approach to its card designs. The 2018-19 Court Kings set is another which offers multiple base Luka Doncic rookies, with 4 different cards.
Similar to the Panini Select set, the 4 cards have different levels of rarity, with the most common being the #117 card, which technically takes the RC tag. The rarity increases with the card numbers, making the #201 card the most rare.
Labeling the #117 card as the most common is perhaps misleading, because it’s not easy to find on the secondary market.
2018-19 Panini Cornerstones Downtown Luka Doncic #11
2018-19 Panini Crown Royale Kaboom! Luka Doncic #23
Another popular insert option is the comic book style Kaboom! card from the Panini Crown Royale set.
Kaboom! cards have become a popular line in the basketball card hobby and they’re hard to get hold of.
Although there are no parallels, this is one of the most elusive and valuable base Kaboom cards of all-time. It’s another of Doncic’s most valuable unsigned rookie cards.
The Best Luka Doncic Autographed Rookie Cards To Buy
2018-19 Panini Contenders Luka Doncic Auto #122
Popular for its iconic Rookie Ticket Autographs subset, Panini Contenders NBA includes this valuable Doncic rookie card in the 2018-19 set.
The big appeal to this one is the large on-card signature – It’s Luka Doncic’s first autographed rookie card featuring him in a Dallas Mavericks uniform.
In addition to the parallels, there’s a variation version, with its own array of parallels – The main difference being the image of Doncic used.
2018-19 Panini Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Signatures Luka Doncic #177
This one takes the Rated Rookie design from the Donruss Optic set, and adds an on-card signature – It also features a different image (which happens to be the same image of Luka that’s used on the Kaboom! insert).
A valuable option, with some even more valuable parallels.
2018-19 Panini Impeccable Luka Doncic Autograph Patch #113
2018-19 Panini Impeccable NBA is home to one of the most high-end Luka Doncic rookie cards.
The impressive and premium Elegance card features a hard-signed autograph, and patch swatch. It’s also limited and numbered to just 99 copies, with a few rare and more limited parallels.
This one is a good alternative to some of his most premium and sought-after RPA cards, at a much lower price, although by no means cheap to buy.
2018-19 Panini Immaculate Collection Luka Doncic Autograph Patch #124
Another one of the top, and most premium NBA releases of the year, Panini Immaculate which features this highly-valuable Luka Doncic RPA rookie card in the 2018-19 set.
The patch swatch, and on-card signature, with the 99 numbered copies ticks the boxes for collectors and makes it one of Doncic’s most valuable rookie card options.
2018-19 Panini Flawless Luka Doncic Vertical Patch Autograph #25
This 2018-19 Flawless Vertical Patch Autograph rookie is one of multiple relic and autograph cards from the release, but it’s the best option.
It’s easily one of the best and most valuable Doncic rookie cards, and although it’s not cheap, it offers a slightly cheaper alternative to the coveted National Treasures RPA.
The base versions is limited to only 25 numbered copies, and there are a few parallel versions, which add some color (including a 1-of-1 Platinum version); A copy of the Gold parallel (/10) sold for $336k in 2022.
2018-19 Panini National Treasures Luka Doncic Autograph Patch #127
In terms of value and prestige, 2018-19 Panini National Treasures is top with this Doncic RPA rookie card.
It’s a brand that’s associated with super-premium cards, and this Luka Doncic rookie features a jumbo patch, alongside a on-card signature, and limited print run of 99 copies, which we’re used to seeing from National Treasures.
The base card is expensive itself, but there are a handful of even more expensive low-numbered parallel versions.
The 1-0f-1 Logoman Patch parallel sold for $3.1 million in 2022, graded BGS 9, which made it not only one of the most expensive basketball cards ever, but also one of the most expensive sports cards ever sold.
Doncic does also have a horizontal RPA card from the set, which is numbered to only 49 copies, with a sole Bronze (/25) parallel version.
When Was Luka Doncic’s Rookie Season?
Luka Doncic’s rookie season was the 2018-19 season – In the 2018 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks selected him as the 3rd overall pick. He was then traded to the Dallas Mavericks.
Luka Doncic: A Background
Luka Doncic caught the attention of the masses after an explosively impressive rookie season in the NBA back in the 2018-19 season, which earned him the Rookie of the Year award.
After coming from the international scene with Real Madrid Baloncesto, some were unsure how he’d do in the NBA, but his performances for the Dallas Mavericks in his first year earned him the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
The multiple-time NBA All-Star Slovenian proved himself to be one of the game’s top players in his early years.
What Is the Most Expensive Luka Doncic Rookie Card?
The 2018-19 Panini National Treasures Luka Doncic RPA rookie card (#127) is his most expensive rookie card to buy.
The on-card signature and jumbo patch swatch have big appeal, plus it’s numbered to just 99 copies.
Although there are other RPA Doncic rookies, the jumbo patch and National Treasures brand prestige give this one the edge.