The Best RJ Barrett Rookie Cards: Full Guide

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Despite being part of a strong rookie class, which featured the likes of Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, RJ Barrett was a highly touted prospect when he came to the NBA, and a player with big potential, despite a slow start in the NBA.

In my opinion, his best low-budget rookie card is his 2019-20 Panini Prizm card, which also has the popular parallel options.

I think, and many will agree, his best high-budget rookie is his 2019-20 Panini National Treasures RPA card; I’ve covered those, and his other top first-year NBA cards further down.

Table of Contents

Quick Summary: Top Picks

The Best RJ Barrett Rookie Cards

2019-20 Panini Prizm RJ Barrett #250

Panini Prizm has become the flagship product for rookie cards in the NBA, and the 2019-20 Prizm is RJ Barrett’s most popular rookie card; For me, the base card is definitely the best low-cost option.

Prizm is a product that is so popular because of the parallel options usually on offer, and for the 2019-20 set base cards have over 40 different numbered parallels, of varying scarcity, which gives collectors lots of different price entry points.

The parallels options include some 1-of-1s, which are the top end of the RJ Barrett rookie card price scale; Black Prizm (1/1), Black Shimmer Premium Prizm (1/1) and the Choice Nebula Prizm (1/1).

In 2023, the 1-of-1 Choice Nebula Prizm parallel sold for $13.8k, making it his most expensive unsigned rookie card.

2019-20 Panini Mosaic RJ Barrett #229

2019-20 Panini Mosaic RJ Barrett #229

Panini Mosaic cards are popular, and the 2019-20 Mosaic Barrett rookie card is something that offers something slightly different – An image of RJ in action in a White Knicks jersey. The different lines and shapes, with the contrasting colors on the background make for a bold, and nice looking card.

Like the Prizm card, the chrome base Mosaic card is popular, but low value; It’s the almost 40 different numbered parallels, with varying scarcity, which hold the higher values – including a few 1/1 options.

2019-20 Panini Hoops RJ Barrett #201

2019-20 Panini Hoops RJ Barrett #201

Another popular RJ Barrett rookie card – the 2019-20 Panini Hoops card. 

The card itself is popular partly because it’s quite similar in design to the very popular Prizm rookie, with a very similar image of Barrett dribbling the basketball in a blue Knicks jersey, set over a blue background.

It’s another card that comes with a high number of more valuable, different colored parallels of varying scarcities, including the Red Explosion (/15), Gold AP (/10) and the Black AP (1/1).

2019-20 Panini Donruss Optic RJ Barrett #178

2019-20 Panini Donruss Optic RJ Barrett Rookie Card #178

The 2019-20 Donruss Optic RJ Barrett rookie card shows him in a white New York Knicks jersey, similar to the Mosaic rookie card, and the base version is one of his best low-cost rookies.

It’s another option with over 30 different colored parallels, with varying scarcity, including Black Gold (/8), Green (/5), Black (1/1), Gold Vinyl (1/1) and Nebula (1/1).

Like Prizm and Mosaic, it’s a brand that has different price entry points for all budgets, because of the variety of parallel options.

2019-20 Panini Select RJ Barrett #21

2019-20 Panini Select RJ Barrett #21

The 2019-20 Panini Select RJ Barrett rookie card offers another chrome option, which is a bit more valuable than some of the alternatives –  The higher value is partly because Select is only sold in hobby stores, and not in retail.

Select typically has 3 variations of every base card in the set – Concourse, Premier and Courtside. The Concourse card is the most common, so it gets the RC tag for RJ Barrett. The Premier and Courtside cards have a smaller print run, and are therefore rarer than the Concourse card.

Like most of the unsigned cards, the higher value is found in the parallels, like the Zebra SP versions.

2019-20 Panini Spectra RJ Barrett #129

2019-20 Panini Spectra RJ Barrett #129

The Panini Spectra set is a more premium set than the Donruss and Prizm sets, the cards are rare and harder to get hold of than those sets.

The 2019-20 Spectra RJ Barrett rookie card offers a higher-end, chromium option for collectors, with a nice design on a robust card.

It also has the following parallel versions: Silver, Celestial (/99), Interstellar (/49), Meta (/25), Gold (/10), Universal Die-Cut (/8), Marble (/5) and Nebula 1/1.

The Best Autographed RJ Barrett Rookie Cards

2019-20 Panini Contenders RJ Barrett Autograph #128

The popular Panini Contenders set is another higher-end option for an RJ Barrett rookie card, and easily one of his most desirable and best first year cards.

Panini’s ticket style design for their Contenders brand is popular among sports card collectors, and the hard-signed autograph adds that extra pop.

There’s actually two base versions of this one, which are almost identical, but with a different image of Barrett; Both versions have their own set of parallels.

The coveted 1-of-1 Gold Vinyl parallel version, of the base card pictured above, sold for $8.49k in 2023, which made it one of his most expensive rookies.

2019-20 Panini National Treasures RJ Barrett Patch Autograph #128

2019-20 Panini National Treasures RJ Barrett #128

This is the best RJ Barrett rookie card, in my opinion, and it’ll cost the most to buy.

Panini’s National Treasures product is established as one of the hobby’s most premium and high-end brands, and the Rookie Patch Autographs are sought-after cards.

The base card is limited to 99 numbered copies, and features a large relic patch with the on-card signature. 

In 2022, a copy of the base card, graded BGS 9.5, sold for $20.4k.

There are some low-numbered parallel versions, which are worth even more.

2019-20 Panini Flawless RJ Barrett Vertical Patch Autograph #6

2019-20 Panini Flawless RJ Barrett Vertical Patch Autograph #6

Panini Flawless is another basketball card brand that offers the highest-end cards with relic pieces and autographs.

The 2019-20 Flawless set has numerous RJ Barret first-year cards, and aside from the 1-of-1 Logoman and Laundry Tag patch cards, this Vertical Patch Autograph is the pick of them.

Despite the base card being even more limited, with only 25 copies, it doesn’t quite have the same status as the National Treasures RPA, but it does have similar features, like the relic patch and on-card signature. There are some parallel versions of this one as well.

It’s a great card, and while it’s not cheap to buy, it offers a less-expensive alternative to his National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph.

When Was RJ Barrett’s Rookie Season?

RJ Barrett’s rookie year was the 2019-20 NBA season – The New York Knicks drafted Barrett as the 3rd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

What Is The Most Valuable RJ Barret Rookie Card?

The 2019-20 Panini National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph card is his most valuable and expensive rookie card to buy.

 The base card, which is limited to 99 copies, has sold for as much as $20.4k previously, and there are some even more valuable parallel versions of the card.

How Much Are RJ Barrett Rookie Cards Worth?

Barret has numerous first-year cards, so the value depends on which RJ Barret rookie.

His standard base cards are worth less than $100 in the highest grades, but his high-end cards like his 2019-20 Panini National Treasures RPA, and the low-numbered parallels of his Prizm rookie, for example, have sold for well over $10k multiple times in the past.

Is A RJ Barrett Rookie Card A Good Investment?

RJ Barrett rookie cards are definitely more of a speculative investment right now – He’s definitely a hot prospect, who’s got potential to be big, and if that happens then his rookie cards have room for increase in values.

RJ Barrett rookies are a potentially good alternative, and cheaper, speculative bet than Zion Williamson, who’s rookie cards are already more expensive.

Picture of Jason Clarke

Jason Clarke

Jason is a lifelong sports fanatic and a huge fan of the NBA and NFL. He's long been a collector of sports cards - For over 20 years in fact. He collects various different sports, as well as some non-sport cards. He has a particular soft spot for 90s basketball inserts. Find Jason on X (Twitter): @jason_clarke91.
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