2020-21 Select Basketball Review

August 18, 2021

The big basketball releases keep rolling. So without further ado, let’s jump into the 2020-21 Select Basketball Review.

Following the 2020-21 Select Basketball release, the team at Cardlines wanted to dig into the product and give it a review, much like we recently did for Donruss Optic Basketball.

Select rounds of the big 3 of opti-chrome cards once again in 2020-21, and there’s a unique twist on this year’s product.

Let’s take a look.

Looking for 2021-22 Select Basketball? Read about the release here.

Select Basketball Product Introduction

Just like Panini Prizm, Panini Select basketball debuted in 2012-13—which just so happens to be an incredibly stacked (combined rookie class). Since then, the product has grown in offering and fans, and this year’s retail format allows even more collectors to get their hands on the typically hobby-only cards.

Since this is one of the last releases of the season, this product features rookies in their NBA jerseys.

What makes Select unique from Optic and Prizm is how it introduces three different “tiers” of rookie cards. From less to more scarce, they are concourse, premier, and courtside. Concourse cards make up the vast majority of the cards, but every hobby pack averages one card from either of the other two tiers. So on average, you can expect two courtside cards per hobby.

For Concourse and Premier levels, look for the following Prizm parallels:

  • Silver
  • Scope
  • Tri-Color
  • Blue
  • Maroon
  • Purple
  • Orange
  • Tie-Dye
  • Gold
  • Green
  • Black
  • Zebra

Courtside has a more limited set:

  • Silver
  • Tie-Dye
  • Gold
  • Green
  • Black
  • Zebra
The Zebra parallels are particularly desirable and awesome (look for Luka zebra RC’s on eBay).

Release Formats

Select appears to have learned from the 2020 football release, and to help keep the price of the hobby (base cards) high; the retail Select basketball cards are blue instead of silver. This is a clever way to separate the two, although, if anything, it seems to be driving the price of the retail base rookies up a bit more. Perhaps collectors will catch on soon.

Hobby Box

  • 12 packs per box
  • 5 cards per pack
  • 3 autographs or memorabilia, 12 Prizms, 2 Base Courtside cards, and 10 Base Premier cards per box on average
  • Hobby boxes presell for $1,000

FOTL Hobby Box

  • 12 packs per box
  • 5 cards per pack
  • 3 autographs or memorabilia, 12 Prizms, 2 Base Courtside cards, and 10 Base Premier cards per box on average
  • FOTL boxes offer exclusive Neon Orange Pulsar(#/15), Neon Purple Pulsar (#/5), and Black Snakeskin (1/1) Prizms editions.
  • These boxes resell for $1,500+

H2 Hybrid Box

  • 6 cards per pack
  • 4 packs per box
  • 6 Prizms on average, including exclusive Disco Prizms
  • The hybrids presell for $500

Blaster Box

  • 4 cards per pack
  • 6 packs per box
  • 2 exclusive mega box Flash Prizms per box on average
  • Tiger Prizmsand Elephant Prizms parallels are exclusive to Retail formats.
  • Blaster boxes are currently reselling for $110
Only retail formats have the tiger and elephant parallels (get Select blasters on eBay).

Mega Box

  • 4 cards per pack
  • 8 packs per box
  • 8 exclusive blue/white/purple cracked ice prizms per box
  • Tiger Prizmsand Elephant Prizms parallels are exclusive to Retail formats.
  • Mega boxes resell for $160

2020-21 Checklist Information

This year’s Select has a number of inserts and hits.

The autographs include:

  • Autographed memorabilia set
  • In-Flight Signatures
  • Rookie Jersey Autograph Set
  • Rookie Signatures
  • Selection Committee Signatures
  • Signatures
  • And more

As far as inserts go, look for:

  • Artistic Selections
  • En Fuego (a classic since 2012)
  • Phenomenon
  • Rookie Selections
  • Company
  • Future
  • Numbers
  • Turbo Charged
  • Unstoppable

Each of the autographs and inserts has different parallels of rarity, so there are even more chances for big pulls!

Select autos come at different levels of rarity (get Select gold autos on eBay).

Value of 2020-21 Select Basketball

If you’re hoping to invest in Select 2020-21, the first question to answer is if you should buy singles or wax. Or anything at all, for that matter.

Wax Value

Last year’s Select was released before the market completely exploded, and because of that, the price was about $400 for a hobby box. If you got in at that price, you did well. Those boxes now sell for $2200—over 5x the original price.

If you want to step back to 2018-19, those boxes currently sell for well over $6,000 and sometimes over $7,000.

That said, based on the same logic I used in my Optic review, I’d argue that the rookie class of 2017-18 might be a better comp because there’s no Zion and Luka.

Here is the current resell value of hobby boxes:

2017-2018 Select Hobby Box $2200
2018-2019 Select Hobby Box $6500
2019-2020 Select Hobby Box $2,800

Is Investing In Wax Worth It?

Based on those numbers, the sealed 2020-21 Select should be an excellent long-term hold at the $1,000 price for the 2020-21 hobby boxes. If you are the tried-and-true type that can hold a box without ripping, you might be flipping for a good return in a year or two. And to be entirely fair, the 2020-21 rookie class had one of the most unusual college and rookie seasons of any class ever, so they might be better than we think.

Investing In Singles

To get a feel for the long-term value of singles, let’s look at some PSA 10’s of recent rookies.

Card Value
2017 Jayson Tatum Courtside $225
2017 Jayson Tatum Premier $300
2018 Luka Doncic Courtside $660
2018 Luka Doncic Premier $720
2019 Zion Williamson Courtside $170
2019 Zion Williamson Premier $300
2020 LaMelo Ball Courtside $35 (raw)
2020 LaMelo Ball Premier $60 (raw)

So what does this table show us?

Probably nothing we don’t already know: better players with the most potential sell for more money.

How will the 2020-2021 rookies hold value in comparison to previous RC’s? (look for Jayson Tatum Select Premier parallels on eBay).

But it does reaffirm something I suspected: considering the premier rookie cards are significantly more rare than the courtside cards, they feel a bit undervalued by comparison (especially the Luka). So if you’re buying hoping to hold long-term, consider purchasing the premier. Many collectors might still be confused by the unusual rookie card structure of Select, and at some point, if they catch on, prices will reflect.

(Also, note the LaMelo’s are raw because of PSA’s current condition.)

Bottomline Of The 2020-21 Select Basketball Review

Select has established itself as a popular product, and now with a retail offering, more collectors will be getting into it and learning more about it.

However, unlike what I determined about Optic, buying Select singles at their current price could be an excellent investment, especially after you grade them. Additionally, sealed products look poised to be an excellent long-term hold.

Never invest more than you can afford, but with an intelligent approach, there is money to be made with Select basketball 2020-21.

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