As the adage goes, you should never trust a man with two first names. We’ll make an exception for 11-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul.
He appeared to be declining a few years ago, but has enjoyed a resurgence that saw the Phoenix Suns re-sign Paul for $120 million over four years with just $75 million guaranteed in August 2021.
Here are some of the best Chris Paul cards on the market right now, as well as investment advice for the duration of his contract and beyond.
The Best Chris Paul Cards
The majority of the best Chris Paul cards were released during his rookie season in 2005/06.
It was the same year he won the Rookie of the Year award, where he received 124 out of a possible 125 first-place votes (623 points) from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the U.S. and Canada.
It was the largest percent of votes since David Robinson received 100 percent of first-place votes in 1989-90.
5. 2005-06 Topps Chris Paul #224 (eBay)
The first CP3 card to make the list is one of his more affordable rookies.
The 2005-06 Topps base card features an image of a suited Paul, holding a New Orleans ball up to the camera with a smile on his face. (He was selected fourth overall by the New Orleans Hornets.)
There’s no rare refractor parallel, but that hasn’t stopped PSA 10 copies from attracting a lot of attention at auction. They’re currently being snapped up, as collectors and investors see the potential for higher prices in the future.
4. 2005-06 Exquisite Collection Chris Paul #46 (eBay)
Paul’s RC is the key to the 2005-06 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Basketball set, and it’s a true premium option. Numbered to 99, it has both an on-card autograph and a patch swatch.
This means that it’ll cost a large sum if you’re planning to add it to your personal collection, and the same goes for the duo of rare parallels.
Parallels: Gold #/25, Rainbow #/1
3. 2008 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Chris Paul /50 #22 (eBay)
Precious Metal Gems cards are always popular, mostly thanks to the famous 1997-98 Metal Universe Basketball set.
The 2008-09 Skybox Metal Universe Basketball Precious Metal Gems set contains a valuable Paul card which is numbered to 50. It was the final NBA-licensed basketball edition.
There are two versions, with the green PMGs having the same print run as the red copy seen above. You’ll also be able to find the serial number on the reverse.
2. 2004-05 Finest Chris Paul RC /599 #194 (eBay)
Another great Paul card has to be the 2004-05 Finest XRC.
It features a simple shot of the rookie with a ball tucked under one arm, with a ‘Topps Finest’ RC logo in the top corner. The full-bleed design makes it susceptible to any number of issues, and it’s rare to see a pristine version in the wild.
The base version is numbered to 599, but we’d stick with Refractor versions if possible.
Parallels: Refractors (#/359), Red Refractors (#/159), Green Refractors (#/59), Gold Refractors (#/25), Black Refractors (#/19)
1. 2004-05 Topps Chrome Chris Paul RC #168 (eBay)
The 2004-05 Topps Chrome RC steals the top spot on our list, such is the power of the flagship brand compared to anything else released during CP3’s rookie season.
As with the cards seen above, we’d stick with Refractor versions if possible. It’s fairly plentiful given a print run of 999. It features a great action shot of the player dribbling, and he really pops out of the card thanks to the great design.
Parallels: Refractors (#/999), Black Refractors (#/399), Gold Refractors (#/99), X-Fractors (#/90)
The announcement of his new contract has caused an uptick in interest for the best Paul cards in recent months.
The majority of cards to make the list are actually pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things. You’re paying for a player that is sure to enter the Hall of Fame, and one that is still providing results even as he leaves his prime behind.
Look at lower graded versions if you’re hoping to snag a bargain investment.
On the subject of investments, we’d opt for the brand power of the 2004-05 Topps Chrome Chris Paul RC if we had to select just one card from the list. A gem mint copy of the PMG would also be tempting if the goal is a large ROI in the future.
Paul and the Suns had perhaps their most successful year ever together. Paul reached the NBA Finals for the first time as a member of the team last season, and showed he still has what it takes at the pinnacle of the sport.
We’d stick with the majority consensus here, and grab a few graded RCs if possible. It’s a long-term play, as pros are only eligible for the Hall of Fame after they have been fully retired from play for at least three years.
If you’re willing to buy and hold, it could lead to solid profit in the future.