2021-22 Panini Hoops Basketball Review

December 21, 2021

It’s time for our 2021-22 Panini Hoops Basketball Review. After nothing but “draft picks” cards running up to the New Year, it’s incredibly refreshing to an actual NBA product looming on the horizon.

Introduction To The 2021-22 Panini Hoops Basketball Review

Hoops is the equivalent of Score for football – it’s Panini’s lowest end of the basketball product lineup. However, it’s loaded with rookies, lots of packs, and an autograph. These used to sell for around $100. That asking price has almost threefold increased since then, and it still feels cheap compared to other Panini products.

Find Hoops Unopened Boxes on eBay

If there’s one thing to know about Hoops basketball, it’s this: This is the first product with players in their NBA jerseys to hit shelves. But, unfortunately, the same thing happens every year: the cards start blazing hot and then quickly – and I do mean quickly – fade away.

For example, the LaMelo Ball Hoops rookies from 2020-21 settled at $65-80 during the first week of release. A few sold for even more than that. (I know because I was lucky enough to get the Hornets in a half-case break and trust me, there were a lot of LaMelo rookies).

Lamelo Ball Hoops rookies are going for a fraction of their initial cost (get one on eBay).

What are they worth now? A recent auction ended for about $8. Unfortunately, this is a fairly typical story.

We’ll get into the ramifications of this drop later in the article.

2021-22 Panini Hoops Basketball Review: Release Date

Hoops, for now, has a release date of January 7, 2022. We’ll be giving it a look to decide if the first name product of the year is a flip, rip, hold, or pass.

The Case For Panini Hoops Basketball

Being the first NBA product means the first chance for many NBA team fans to snatch their favorite rookie in a professional uniform. Of course, there is a hefty premium that comes with that.

Another plus of the product is that it’s probably the most economical product in any NBA jersey. Therefore, Hoops is a logical go-to if you’re itching to buy a box and rip on a budget.

There’s more than the brand does well. The cards always boast a nice design, with bright, bold colors.

That, combined with the plethora of rookies inside, made it a very fun rip. If you have a young child you’re introducing to the hobby, Hoops could be the best product to do so. At least with a hobby box.  With so many cards and rookies in every box, there’s a good chance you’ll get rookies of all the top 3 – 5 draft picks.

You can expect to get a lot of rookies in Hoops (look for Luka Hoops rookies on eBay).

The Case Against Panini Hoops Basketball

The case against Hoops stems from the case for it. Since it’s the first product to release, the bottom falls as soon as the next NBA-licensed product hits.

Also, the hits are rare, with only one auto per hobby box, so it can feel like you’re paying good money for many common cards.

The 2021-22 Panini Hoops Basketball Review Of Parallels And Inserts

This year’s Hoops isn’t just the first pro-uniform release. It also brings some lovely parallels.

The problem is that the numbered parallels are hobby-exclusive. So don’t overpay for a blaster box expecting any.

Of the parallels, look for:

  • Silver /199
  • Green /99
  • Artist Proof /25 Gold /10 Black /1

This year’s cards include the usual giant checklist of 270, with 50 rookies included in the base set. There are also some new inserts and classics appearing in the insert-heavy boxes, including:

  • High Voltage
  • Highlights
  • HIPnotized
  • Jam-tastic
  • Legends of the Ball
  • Prime-Twine
How do you like the Legends of the Ball inserts? (look for more on eBay).

The 2021-22 Panini Hoops Basketball Review Of Release Formats

Hoops will be released in several formats. Here’s a breakdown of everything we can expect.

Hobby Box

  • 24 Packs per box
  • 8 cards per pack
  • 1 autograph
  • 24 inserts or parallel
  • Preselling for $239 on eBay

Retail Box

  • 24 Packs per box
  • 8 cards per pack
  • 1 autograph
  • 24 inserts or parallel (Note: will not be #’d. That’s the difference.)

Blaster Box

  • 8 Cards per pack
  • 11 packs per box
  • 1 auto or memorabilia card

T-Mall Asia Box

No details yet. Last year’s included:

  • 40 cards
  • 8 exclusive Asia Parallels
  • Chance for auto

The 2021-22 Panini Hoops Basketball Review Of Value

Read this very carefully if you’re hoping to invest in Hoops Basketball. There are a couple of specific ways to do it.


Let’s see how previous years fare.

2017-2018 Hoops Hobby Box $400
2018-2019 Hoops Hobby Box $1000
2019-2020 Hoops Hobby Box $450
2020-2021 Hoops Hobby Box $350
The 2019-2020 hobby box has two autos (look for one on eBay).

First, Hoops hobby boxes from 2016-2017 are hard to get. Nonetheless, they do not seem to accrue much value over time.

Getting back to this year’s version: it is currently pre-ordering for $275. The chances are that the value will fall in line with the 2019-20 and 2020-21 boxes. These have plateaued right around the SRP of 2021-22.

There is a chance that the box could be worth a lot more, as proven by the 2018-19 box selling for nearly 3x as much. That’s the Luka Doncic and Trae Young effect.

If you’re willing to invest in 2021-22 Hoops wax, it’s because you think the 2021-22 rookie class is going to be closer to a Luka Doncic and Trae Young class than a LaMelo and Anthony Edwards class. That decision is up to you.
That said, don’t overlook this: while Panini doesn’t disclose print run, we know that there will be significantly more boxes of 2021-22 produced than 2018-19. Therefore, the law of supply and demand will cap the long-term value.


Thinking of investing in Hoops Singles?

In short, don’t. If you insist on doing it, buy raw numbered parallels that look sharp and grade them.

But do not, under any circumstances, buy any of these cards within the first weeks of release. The price of rookie cards from this set will drop at least 4x throughout the first month.

Don’t believe it? Watch the first Cade Cunningham that hits eBay, and then check-in in mid-February. Then write me a thank you note.

If you want a Cade Cunningham rookie, wait (look for his cards on eBay).

Bottomline Of The 2021-22 Panini Hoops Basketball Review

Hoops is a fun product. I like it more than I care to admit. It’s bright, fun, and has a nostalgic feel to it.

But from an investing point of view, it’s not a hold. There will be overproduction, and while I love Mobley and Cunningham, they do not represent an outstanding class in relative terms.

It’s not a flip, either. Blaster boxes are too weak (no numbered cards; usually a jersey) that the $20 or $25 or so you’ll make from flipping is worth taking the fun away from a young collector. So don’t be the flipping Grinch, at least with Hoops.
But, this product is also not a pass, which can only mean one thing: It’s a rip!

Why 2021-22 Hoops Basketball Is A Rip

Rip is not a title I give often. However, the low-price point and wide selection of rookies make it a fun rip. No, you’re not going to make a ton of money ripping. You might even lose a bit.

But if you wait for the price to drop after the initial buzz, you can probably pick up a box for less than $250. Then you can have a good time ripping it by yourself or with friends or kids.

A Final Word Of Caution

This line is probably the most important of the article:

As of right now, Donruss 2021-22 Basketball is set to release just one week after Hoops.

Why does that Matter? Because Donruss is another low-cost Panini NBA product. And frankly, it does everything Hoops can and does it better. And if it actually follows Hoops as closely as the release calendar indicates, Hoops will have less time than usual to sit atop the throne.

If you’re buying a hobby box with plans to sell the contents, either have the box in hand on release day or wait until the prices simmer down. If you can’t do either of the two, you’re begging to lose money.