A Preview Of Donruss Basketball 2022-23 And How This Popular Product Compares To Hoops
We’re over two-thirds the way through the NBA season and the last few weeks of basketball have been crazy. Kyrie Irving is on the Mavericks! Lebron James is the all-time leading scorer!
With the all-star game just around the corner and the playoffs on the horizon, it’s time to get into some exciting February basketball card releases.
To kick things off we have Donruss Basketball 22-23 which is currently slated to drop on March 8th. In this article, I’ll run you through the specifics of this year’s product, how it compares to NBA Hoops, and the best cards we’ve seen in the mock-ups so far.
Downlow on Donruss Basketball 2022
Donruss Basketball returns for its 12th year after debuting in the 2010-11 season. You can sign-up for alerts on this product directly from Panini.
In that time it’s become a favorite for collectors who appreciate its plain, straightforward style and massive setlist. This year’s base card features sharp lines, a colored border, and a 3-D box for the player’s name and team. Here’s a Steph Curry gold laser base parallel:
Nowadays, Donruss is most often thought of as the product that offers Rated Rookies. These iconic cards spotlight the top rookies and feature its classic logo. Rated Rookies often become one of a player’s most popular rookies across all releases.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this year’s product will have a guaranteed memorabilia card, as they’re cutting back to just 1 auto and 60 inserts/ Rated Rookies in the 300-card box.
Donruss Basketball or NBA Hoops?
Donruss Basketball and NBA Hoops are frequently brought up together as similar products – both drop early in the NBA cycle, offer relatively large base sets, and are priced similarly.
I did a fairly comprehensive breakdown in my NBA Hoops article last month that I’ll spare repeating here, but the general takeaways were this:
NBA Hoops is better for someone who cares more about the autos (better auto to $$ ratio), doesn’t care about the number of base cards, and wants the cheaper of the two products.
Donruss is the clear favorite for someone looking to invest in the rookie class since you get way more. It’s also a great grab for set builders or people who want to collect a lot of players from the same team.
Analyzing the 2022-2023 Donruss Basketball card mock-ups
Of course, more subjective matters such as base card design and how cool you think the inserts are also factor into the Hoops vs. Donruss debate.
So far, Panini has released a few mock-ups of this year’s product. Here’s a look at some of my favorites:
2023 Donruss Basketball SSP Hits
Donruss is debuting two brand new SSP hits to chase for the ‘22-23 season. These are case hits, so you’ve got a 1/10 chance of pulling one in any given hobby box.
It’s unclear if there will be any parallels in these inserts.
We’ve seen Night Moves before in Donruss Football, where it was massively popular, but this year will be its basketball debut. I have a feeling that outside of the Rated Rookies and autos, this will be the card from this product.
One thing I like about Night Moves is that they’ve stayed fairly consistent with the design. The Night Moves we saw in Donruss Football 2021 is very similar to the one we saw in Donruss Football 2022, which is identical to the design they’re using in Donruss Basketball 2022.
While some might see that as lazy, I think it helps establish the brand of the card. You know it’s a Night Moves as soon as you pull it. This adds to the excitement of the break, as well as making it a recognizable piece that stands out in a collection.
This card is set against a pitch-black background, with a spacey color-blast and Kings rookie Keegan Murray emerging from “the night”. Kudos to Panini for using Muray here, who I included in my top 3 rookies to collect before the 2023 NBA playoffs.
Well, you can’t fault this card for having a confusing name. It’s pretty much right on the nose – it’s called animation, and it features animated images of the league’s top players.
Usually, there’s some kind of pun or clever element involved with insert names. Crunch Time used a cereal box, Net Marvels used a comic book theme. But this is just an animated card they’re calling animation. Maybe there’s something here and I’m just missing it?
In spite of the strange naming choice I’ve got to admit… this is a pretty cool-looking card. Ja Morant is exploding from shades of blue and black. It has a similar feel to the Net Marvel card but is more minimalist. Just a few colors and small letting that includes the player name, the card name, and the team logo.
Donruss Basketball 2022 Autos
The 1 auto is really the prized jewel of the box. Pull a big rookie or a parallel and you can more than break even on your box.
Donruss is definitely using two of the same auto cards from last year with Next Day Autos and Rated Rookie Autos. It’s unclear if the Signature Series autos will be back (which has traditionally featured autos from vets), but I would guess that it is.
The Next Day Auto
The Next Day Auto deviates from the design on the base set, but maintains the overall theme of just a few main colors and a classic, angular design. It’s also your one-shot at an on-card auto.
Donruss Basketball 2022-23 Rated Rookie Auto
The Rated Rookie Auto sticks to almost the same layout that we saw on the base card, with 3-D boxes for the player’s name and team, as well as random boxes floating around the border of the card. The reviews on this design so far have been mixed, but I actually like it a lot.
The main drawback is that these cards feature sticker autos, not on-card.
Last year the Rated Rookie Auto was the only one with parallels. We don’t know this year’s odds yet, but last year there were close to 20 parallels and over half of them were numbered. Lots of colors, lasers, etc. with a couple of black 1/1s to chase.
Donruss Basketball 2022 Hobby Box breakdown
The Donruss Basketball ‘22-23 Hobby Box will release on February 17th and boxes are preselling around $275.
Here’s what each hobby box will contain:
- 30 cards per pack
- 10 packs per box
- 10 boxes per case
And here’s what Panini has released about the card breakdown inside:
- 1 Auto
- 60 inserts/ parallels
Investment outlook of 2022 Donruss Basketball hobby boxes
The sports card investment market has taken a bit of a slide over the past few months, and it’s the new releases that have been hit the hardest. According to the Q4 Sports Collectibles Report from Altan Insights, ultra-modern cards (2009-Present) are down 25% in the final quarter of 2022.
Ouch. But what’s that old Warren Buffet quote? Be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful?
Just because the market is losing steam doesn’t mean there aren’t savvy investments to be made. And if things rebound this year, lots of investors will be kicking themselves for not buying when the price was this low. So let’s see how Donruss Basketball has performed historically in both wax and singles.
Donruss Basketball Wax
Over the past few years, wax has been considered the safest bet on the market. Rookie classes headlined by Zion and Luka + the COVID boom caused products from ‘18-’19 to skyrocket, with some boxes going up 5x-10x their original selling price.
However, with more market uncertainty than ever, holding wax is far from the guarantee it recently was. Here’s what the past couple of years of Donruss Basketball releases are currently selling for.
|Product Year||Average eBay Selling Price (Jan 2022)|
With this year’s price coming in around $275, I think holding is a risky move. I wouldn’t want to buy this for anything more than $200.
I should, however, mention the shining star of this year’s class – Paolo Banchero. Paolo didn’t enter the league with as much hype as Luka or Zion, but he 100% looks the part of a star, and his ceiling is a top-5 player in the league.
He was on the outside of the all-star conversation this year as just a rookie, averaging 20/7/4 on solid efficiency for a first-year player asked to immediately be the offensive hub as a #1 option. If Paolo really blows up, it will give ‘22-23 product a distinct value as the “Banchero year.”
Donruss Basketball ’22-23 is just as much of a bet on Paolo as it is on the card market at large.
How Rated Rookies perform against other rookie cards
Despite its solid reputation, it turns out that the Rated Rookie hasn’t been quite as steady as the Prizm rookie card.
I took a look at sales data on Evan Mobley rookie cards from August 2022 to February 2023. Here’s what I found:
|Card (All PSA 10)||Aug '22 Selling Price||Feb '23 Selling Price||Percent Loss|
|Panini Donruss (Rated Rookie) Evan Mobley #225 [Rookie] 2021||$52||$23||56%|
|Panini Prizm Evan Mobley #325 2021||$52||$40||23%|
|Panini Hoops Evan Mobley #234 [Rookie]||$70||$20||71%|
The first thing you probably noticed is how dramatic these losses are. If I scaled it back to May 2022 (when Mobley was in the mix for rookie of the year) it gets even uglier. These drops are a reflection of the market as a whole, as well as Mobley’s somewhat disappointing sophomore campaign.
What we see is that Prizm still holds its value the best. The Donruss Rated Rookie is somewhere in between, while the NBA Hoops falls off a cliff. Other rookie cards, from less established brands, get hit even harder.
So, while Rated Rookies aren’t necessarily bad, it still makes the most sense to go with Prizm strictly from an investment standpoint.
Bottomline on the 2022-2023 Donruss release
Donruss is back for the ’22-23 NBA season. It’s headlined by a ton of rookies, parallels, and inserts to go along with plenty of base in this 300-card hobby box.
While we lose the memorabilia card, we do gain two exciting new SSP inserts. If you’re in the market for a haul of rated rookies, are looking to collect the first-ever Night Moves basketball cards, or are in love with the 2022 rookie class, Donruss Basketball ’22-23 is for you.