After declaring himself eligible for the draft in 2018, Luka Doncic was selected unanimously to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and won Rookie of the Year for the 2018–19 season.
Already the Mavericks’ franchise leader in career triple-doubles, Doncic has made the All-NBA First Team three years in a row. He hasn’t won a championship yet, but led his team to the Western Conference Finals in 2022.
It was always clear that Doncic was the real deal, and that’s reflected in the asking price for his best RCs. We’ve put together this Luka Doncic rookie card guide looking at 10 of the very best options ever produced.
The Best Luka Doncic Rookie Cards
Doncic signed with the Mavs in 2018, and was included in all popular NBA sets from that season. Here’s a rundown with ten of the best Luka Doncic rookie cards you’ll find on the market.
10. 2018-19 Panini Prizm Luka Doncic RC #3 Autograph (eBay)
The negatives associated with the stickered signature found on the 2018-19 Panini Prizm Luka Doncic RC auto are offset by the sheer strength and popularity of the brand.
There are a few serial numbered Prizm parallels to chase, and it’s a great entry level option if you’re looking at more affordable signed Luka RCs. As with every card to make the list, expect to pay a premium for pristine graded copies.
- Prizm Parallels: Silver, White Sparkle, Choice, Mojo #/25, Gold #/10, Choice Green #/8, Black 1/1
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9. 2018-19 Panini Cornerstones Downtown Luka Doncic RC #11 (eBay)
The Downtown insert is always a head turner, with a unique design that helps it to stand out from the crowd. The illustration uses local landmarks in the background, and works out to be a SSP thanks to a tiny print run. (The 20-card insert set was released at a rate of one per box.)
Found in 2018-19 Panini Cornerstones, as Luka Doncic rookie cards go, it’s hard to think of many rarer options that don’t come serial numbered.
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8. 2018-19 Panini Crown Royale Kaboom Luka Doncic RC #23 (eBay)
On the topic of popular inserts, KABOOM! cards are always valuable when they have a Luka Doncic image attached. Found in 2018-19 Panini Crown Royale, it’s supposed to mimic the style of an old school comic.
It’s rare to see copies of the Doncic KABOOM! on the market, and you’ll be paying a premium for graded versions.
For example, fewer than 60 copies have made their way to PSA for grading over the last few years.
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7. 2018-19 Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Signatures Luka Doncic RC #177 (eBay)
Donruss Optic Rated Rookie cards are always a hit with collectors, even if the image has been reused for the Kaboom! insert seen above. The Rated Rookie Signatures set is hard signed, with a variety of Prizm parallels to chase.
- Parallels: Holo, Purple, Blue #/49, Pink #/25, Gold #/10, Green #/5, Black 1/1, Checkerboard 1/1, Gold Vinyl 1/1
- Choice: Base Choice, Black Gold #/8
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6. 2018-19 Panini Flawless Collegiate Luka Doncic RC #151 Autograph #/25 (eBay)
The 2018-19 Panini Flawless set is up next. Representing the highest of the high end, you’ll find low print runs, on-card autographs, and premium swatches in hobby boxes.
With a base version limited to 25 copies, the Flawless Rookie Autographs subset is one of the rarest Luka RCs ever produced. It’s not one of the jeweled cards from the set, but it’s likely to be worth more than your average gemstone.
- Parallels: Ruby #/20, Sapphire #/15, Gold #/10, Emerald #/5, Black 1/1
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5. 2018-19 Panini Select Luka Doncic RC Autographs (eBay)
2018-19 Select contains a variety of Doncic autos which are some of his more coveted collectibles. For example, the hard-signed Rookie Signatures card has a print run of only 199, along with a handful of rare parallels.
There’s also a Rookie Jersey Autographs card, with a stickered auto and a patch. The Tie-Dye version is limited to 25 copies, and arguably offers the best mix of rarity and affordability.
- Rookie Signatures parallels: Neon Green #/99, Tie-Dye #/25, Gold #/10, Black 1/1
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4. 2018-19 Panini Impeccable Elegance Luka Doncic RC #113 Autograph #/99 (eBay)
2018-19 Panini Impeccable Basketball is another great set to consider if you’re looking for the best Doncic RPAs. As you’d expect, the premium release has been hard signed by the player, and comes with a trio of rarer parallels. (The base version is limited to 99 copies.)
- Parallels: Holo Silver #/25, Holo Gold #/10, Platinum 1/1
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3. 2018-19 Panini National Treasures Luka Doncic RC #127 Autograph Patch #/99 (eBay)
National Treasures is undoubtedly a premium option for collectors, with the autograph patch proving to be especially valuable. Serial numbered to 99, the clean design is complemented by the sheer size of the swatch. There are five rare parallels, along with a horizontal card which is limited to 49 copies.
- Parallels: FOTL #/20, Gold #/10, Emerald #/5, Blue FOTL #/3, Logoman 1/1
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2. 2016-17 Upper Deck EuroLeague Basketball Rainbow Luka Doncic RC #23 (eBay)
Heading back to Doncic’s time spent in Europe, the 2016-17 Upper Deck Euroleague Basketball RC was produced when he played for Real Madrid.
Doncic wasn’t one of the major stars in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague at the time, with the set mainly focusing on players that used to feature in the NBA.
The rarer Physical Rainbow parallels could be earned by obtaining 10 base digital cards for any one player.
As of 2022, the European cards aren’t as popular as their NBA counterparts, while there’s also a signed version of the Euroleague card that was released a little later in 2018.
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1. 2018-19 Panini Contenders Luka Doncic RC #122 Autograph (eBay)
Our top pick of the many valuable Luka Doncic rookie cards on the market has to be the 2018-19 Panini Contenders autograph.
Using a familiar Rookie Ticket design, it’s proven to be especially popular with collectors. You’ll be able to find an image variation which has also been hand signed.
- Ticket Parallels: Premium, Playoff #/65, The Finals #/49, Cracked Ice #/25, Premium Gold #/10, Championship 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1
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Luka Doncic Rookie Cards: Buyers Guide
What do we think of the current market for the best Luka Doncic RCs?
With some serious price tags found above, what about cheaper Luka Doncic rookie cards? Graded unsigned base cards are a good place to start, with a variety of options that can be found for less than $100.
There are so many premium Luka Doncic rookie cards to choose from, including signed RPAs and premium inserts. You’re spoiled for choice, depending on your budget and your personal preferences.
Would you prefer one of the Contenders Rookie Tickets, or do you like the understated style seen with options like the National Treasures card?
Luka Doncic Rookie Cards: Final Thoughts
Doncic is one of the best NBA stars to collect if you’re hoping to see major returns in the future.
He made 70 3-pointers in 20 playoff games. That’s two more than the best shooter of all time, Stephen Curry.
There aren’t many players that can rival him in terms of talent, while he’s still only 23 at the current time of writing.
It’s little wonder that his best RCs sell for six figures when graded by the likes of PSA or BGS.