What are some great alternative Zion Williamson cards to collect?
Williamson is one of the biggest talents in the NBA. He seemed destined for stardom ever since he was a prodigy making his name at Duke.
To give some idea of the hype surrounding him when he was drafted;
“Zion is touched by the hand of God to play this game. He is a population of one,” New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin told USA Today.
As of January 2022, the 2019 No. 1 overall pick hasn’t played as he rehabs from injury, and there have been whispers that Williamson is not happy with the Pelicans.
We think it’s the perfect opportunity to look at some of the best Zion Williamson rookie cards, as well as a popular alternative option now that prices have dipped ever so slightly.
The Best Alternative Zion Williamson Cards
We’ve listed a couple of great Zion Williamson rookie cards below, as well as an interesting insert that is likely to provide decent returns in the future.
3. 2019-20 Contenders Rookie Ticket Zion Williamson #108 (eBay)
Zion rookie cards are some of the most popular within the hobby, and have always been relatively expensive. (It’s only fair considering the weight of expectation placed on his shoulders.)
The 2019-20 Contenders Rookie Ticket is one such example of a valuable Zion RC. There are numbered parallels which also feature an on-card auto filled in blue ink.
There are also a trio of photo variations, although they all share the same card number (#108).
- Ticket Parallels: Playoff #/75, The Finals #/35, Cracked Ice #/25, Championship 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1
- Premium Edition Tickets: Base, Green Shimmer, Blue Shimmer FOTL #/20, Gold #/10, Gold Vinyl 1/1
2. 2020-21 Panini Spectra Color Blast Zion Williamson #12 (eBay)
If you’re on the market for something slightly more affordable than a numbered Zion RC, the 2020-21 Panini Spectra Color Blast subset contains a rare insert which is still worth considering from an investment perspective.
It’s his second appearance on Color Blast sets. 2019-20 Panini Spectra also contains a Zion Williamson rookie with a white jersey instead of the red seen above.
This version is more affordable than the RC, while there are only six graded copies on the PSA registry. (Gem mint versions currently go for anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 on the resale market.)
We think it’s a great mid-level option with room to grow.
1. 2019-20 Panini Prizm Zion Williamson RC #248 (eBay)
2019-20 Panini Prizm Basketball is where we’re heading next, with a Zion RC that is the key to the collection along with Ja Morant and RJ Barrett.
As always, the various serial numbered Prizm parallels are the ones that are likely to break sale records. They range from a high of 299 down to 1/1. Don’t let the lack of an auto put you off, as it has great potential if he manages to return to form.
- Base Parallels: Silver, Green, Hyper, Red/White/Blue, White Sparkle, Red #/299, Blue #/199, Purple #/75, Orange #/49, Mojo #/25, Gold #/10, Black Gold #/5, Black 1/1
- Choice Parallels: Blue/Yellow/Green, Tiger Stripe, Red #/88, Green #/8, Nebula 1/1
- Fast Break Parallels: Base, Blue #/175, Red #/125, Purple #/75, Pink #/50, Bronze #/20, Neon Green #/5. Base Parallels: Green, Orange, Pink, Red, Purple #/149, Blue #/99
- Pulsar Parallels: Pink #/42, Purple #/35, Green #/25
- Wave Parallels: Purple, Ruby
- Premium FOTL Shimmer Parallels: Blue, Green #/25, Gold #/10, Black 1/1
Alternative Zion Williamson Cards: Buyers Guide
If you’re tempted by the current state of the Zion market, here are our thoughts on whether it’s worth the outlay at the beginning of 2022.
The Best Cheap Alternative Zion Williamson Cards
It’s fair to say that the options listed above are some of the more expensive basketball cards on the market.
What if you’re looking for a more affordable Zion card, or even something graded that won’t break the bank?
We’ve listed a couple of solid rookie cards that should be seen as a decent entry-level investment below.
The Best Alternative Zion Williamson Cards
It’s hard to separate the trio of cards seen above, especially if you’re interested in picking one up purely as an investment piece.
If you think he’s going to have multiple MVP-winning seasons then it makes perfect sense, although there’s still a chance that injuries will begin to take their toll on a frame which sometimes seems almost unreal.
The rookie cards are going to be more expensive, while the second Zion Color Blast still has great long-term potential, even if it’s more wallet-friendly.
The Best Alternative Zion Williamson Cards 2022: Buying/Selling Advice
Zion was supposed to be the next Michael Jordan. He still has the ability to live up to his massive potential.
Of course, there’s an element of risk with any young player if you’re interested in their rookie cards. Especially one that has been pipped for greatness such as Williamson. We still think he has what it takes to win an MVP award, but only if he manages to remain healthy.
In December 2021, he suffered another setback in his recovery from a right foot injury, the New Orleans Pelicans announced in a statement. His training was scaled back “for an extended period,” leaving Williamson’s season debut still uncertain.
“After experiencing persistent soreness in his right foot, Zion Williamson underwent medical imaging which showed a regression in the bone healing of his fifth metatarsal,” the Pelicans said. “As a result, the volume and intensity of his training will be reduced for an extended period to help allow for further bone healing. Additional updates will be provided as warranted.”
Williamson has been destined for greatness ever since he burst onto the scene, and that has reflected in the price of his rookie cards.
However, the early stages of his NBA career have been stifled by repeated injuries. These include a fractured finger and a torn meniscus in his right knee, along with the Covid-19 stoppage.
If you think he still has what it takes, it’s worth keeping tabs on card prices during a period of uncertainty for collectors.