Let’s discuss the best Cade Cunningham rookie cards that money can buy.
Cade Cunningham had a spectacular debut season for the Pistons in 2021-22, even if he missed out on the Rookie of the Year award to Scottie Barnes when all was said and done.
The first overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft has impressed massively, whether it be as a primary ball handler, scorer, or facilitator.
For example, Cunningham recorded 34 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, four blocks, and two steals in a 110–105 loss to the Denver Nuggets in January 2022, joining Michael Jordan as the only rookies in NBA history to post these numbers in a single game.
His rookie card prices are higher than most, and have continued to garner attention as the season has progressed.
Here’s a roundup with five of the best Cade Cunningham rookie cards to collect, including some of the rarest options ever produced.
The Best Cade Cunningham Rookie Cards: List
Cade Cunningham rookie cards were released in 2021-22. As the first overall pick, he was featured heavily in almost every set imaginable. There are hundreds of Cunningham RCs to choose from, but we’ve whittled it down to just five.
5. 2021 Donruss Cade Cunningham RC #211 (eBay)
Beginning with the flagship 2021 Donruss Basketball collection, we’re looking at the ever-popular Rated Rookie line. Cunningham is featured in a simple action shot, wearing the familiar red and blue of the Pistons.
It’s proven to be one of the more interesting Cunningham RCs, with parallels to suit almost every budget. (Parallels correspond with the border color.)
PSA 10 copies of the base version and the Holo Orange Laser can currently be picked up in the $200 dollar range. Of course, the price goes up exponentially for rarer serial numbered copies.
- Parallels: Green Ice, Silver Press Proof, Yellow Flood, Purple Press Proof #/199, 75th Anniversary #/75
- Choice: Base Choice, Dragon, Red #/99, Blue #/49, Gold #/10, Black Gold #/8, Black 1/1
- Holo Laser: Green, Green/Yellow, Orange, Pink, Red/Gold, Teal, Base #/149, Purple #/99, Red #/99, Light Blue #/60, Blue #/49, Yellow #/25, Red/Blue #/15, Gold #/10, Black 1/1
4. 2021-22 Panini Origins Rookie Autographs Cade Cunningham RC #IK-CUN (eBay)
2021-22 Panini Origins features a slick Cunningham RC with an on-card auto.
What helps the Origins Autographs set to stand out from the crowd is the fact that it has been signed in silver ink, along with 10 gold ink parallels. You can see the Gold auto in the image above.
Given the number of signed Cunningham cards released last year, we think it’s unique, and it’s definitely more eye-catching than the average autographed edition.
- Parallels: Gold Ink #/10, Gold Ink Inscriptions 1/1
3. 2021-22 Elite Passing The Torch Gold Luka Doncic/Cade Cunningham RC #PT-LC (eBay)
Passing the Torch Signatures is a dual-autograph insert included in 2021-22 Donruss Elite Basketball. These team up top NBA names with incoming rookies.
Cunningham is lucky enough to be paired with Luka Doncic, in a card dripping with star power. There are just 49 base copies, and a duo of rare parallels to look for. If you don’t mind Cunningham sharing the stage, it’s hard to find much better.
- Parallels: Gold #/10, Black 1/1
2. 2021-22 Panini Instant Cunningham/Green/Barnes/Suggs RC #RPS14 (eBay)
What about a quad autograph card featuring four of the best rookies from 2021-22? Cunningham is joined by Scottie Barnes, Draymond Green, and Jalen Suggs in this Panini Instant release.
If you’d prefer to stick with Cunningham alone we’ve listed another great option below, but it’s hard to deny the investment potential with this card given the talent on display. As with all rookie investments, it depends on how you think they’ll perform in the future.
1. 2021-22 Contenders Cade Cunningham RC #102 (eBay)
2021-22 Panini Contenders Basketball is where to look for some of the most popular Cunningham RCs on the market.
The set follows a traditional Rookie Ticket design, and comes with a handful of parallels to chase. There’s also a photo variation, which can be identified as they have a white “V” inside a black circle on the reverse. We’ve circled an example below.
- Ticket Parallels: Clear, Playoff #/99, The Finals #/49, Cracked Ice #/25, Championship 1/1
- Premium Edition Ticket Parallels: Base Premium Edition, Green Shimmer, Blue Shimmer FOTL #/20, Gold #/10, Red Shimmer FOTL #/5, Gold Shimmer FOTL 1/1, Gold Vinyl 1/1
Cade Cunningham Rookie Cards: Buyers Guide
Here are our thoughts about the current market for Cade Cunningham rookie cards, and whether they’re worth the considerable outlay.
As the cards were released to coincide with the 2022-22 season, there’s a wide selection to choose from if you’re on the market for entry-level options. We’ve noted that PSA 10 copies of the base 2021 Donruss RC and the Holo Orange Laser can currently be picked up in the $200 dollar range. It’s even cheaper if you’re looking at ungraded copies.
Do you like the look of the Rookie Ticket, or would you prefer Cunningham to share the RC with some of the best players in the NBA? Any of the options on this list have a great chance of making profit in the long run.
Cunningham had a great maiden NBA season. He led all rookies in points per game (17.4), was second in assists (5.6), and fifth in rebounds (5.5). He’s a true stat machine.
Even if he missed out on being named as the Rookie of the Year, investing in his top RCs still bodes well for the future.
That’s a view held by many collectors and investors within the hobby, and Cunningham RCs are some of the most popular options right now.
They’re pricey, but holders are banking on them being worth far more in the future.