Kevin Garnett is one of the more decorated players from his era, earning 15 All-Star nods and nine appearances on the NBA’s First Team All-Defense. The 2004 NBA MVP is arguably the greatest power forward of all-time, winning a sole NBA championship in 2008.
He’s 17th all time in career points, and he averaged at least 20 in nine straight seasons from 1998-99 to 2006-07. Here’s a roundup with five of the best Kevin Garnett rookie cards to collect.
The Best Kevin Garnett Rookie Cards
The fifth overall pick in the 1995 Draft, he played 21 seasons, while there are 15 Kevin Garnett rookie cards which can be found in 1995-96 NBA sets. As you may have guessed, they’ll need to be pristine if you’re hoping for high values.
5. 1995-96 Flair Kevin Garnett RC #206 (eBay)
We’ll begin with the 1995-96 Flair Kevin Garnett RC. A full-bleed card featuring a duo of images, it comes with a crisp gold finish. You’ll be able to find PSA 10 versions for roughly $200, which is down from the highs seen in 2021.
There are 115 Gem Mint versions at the current time of writing, along with 788 PSA 9s.
4. 1995-96 Collector’s Choice Kevin Garnett Players Club Platinum RC #275 (eBay)
The next KG rookie card to make the list can be found in 1995-96 Collector’s Choice. If you’re looking for an affordable PSA 10 RC, the base card is inexpensive. The same can’t be said for the shiny Player’s Club Platinum version. (You’ll see an example of the Platinum card in the image above.)
There’s also a Draft Trade redemption version, alongside international French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish editions.
3. 1995-96 SP Premier Prospects Future All-Stars Kevin Garnett RC #AS28 (eBay)
Found in the 1995-96 SP Premier Prospects set, the die-cut Future NBA All-Stars insert is one of the more popular KG rookie cards, and it’s especially valuable when graded. Another full-bleed action shot, it’s complimented by a gold finish. The last PSA 10 sale was for a flat $1,450 in March 2021.
2. 1995-96 Skybox E-XL Natural Born Thriller Kevin Garnett RC #5 (eBay)
Rather than the base 1995-96 Skybox E-XL Kevin Garnett RC, we’re looking at the Natural Born Thrillers insert. An eye-catching card, it’s tough to locate in Gem Mint condition, with only 53 PSA 10 copies. Natural Born Thrillers cards could be packed at a rate of 1:48.
1. 1995-96 Topps Finest Kevin Garnett RC #115 (eBay)
Our number one pick in terms of Kevin Garnett rookie cards to collect, 1995-96 Topps Finest features a simple profile shot of the player as he smiles at somebody off-camera. The cards came with a protective layer on the front, with many collectors preferring unpeeled versions. It’s meant to ensure that cards stay in mint condition, as the finish is especially prone to scratching.
Kevin Garnett Rookie Cards: Buyers Guide
Here’s what we think of the current market for the best Kevin Garnett rookie cards.
A product of an era in which base cards were wildly overprinted, there are numerous cheaper Garnett RCs to choose from. In fact, even the 1995-96 Topps Finest rookie card is attainable if you’re looking at lower grades.
The best Kevin Garnett RC from an investment perspective is probably the 1995-96 Topps Finest RC. This is especially true if you’re checking out PSA 10 versions, whether they’re peeled or unpeeled.
There’s a range of Kevin Garnett rookie cards on the market, the majority of which are low-end. There are a few interesting inserts, but nothing which is going to match up to the likes of Michael Jordan when all is said and done.
Regardless, KG is one of the more popular players from his era, and the key to a number of 1995-96 sets. The only NBA player to reach at least 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5,000 assists, 1,500 steals, and 1,500 blocks, his best cards look to be a safe investment option.