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Your First Look at the 2020-21 Basketball Card Release Schedule

Though the 2020-21 NBA season start date is still up in the air, trading card collectors and investors are anxiously awaiting news on not only the upcoming season but the corresponding trading cards. Thankfully, Panini America, who owns the exclusive trading card license for the NBA, recently dished out a tentative schedule for its 2020-21 basketball line.

The Timeline:


  • Hoops – January 13, 2021
  • Certified – January 20, 2021
  • Donruss – January 27, 2021


  • Revolution – February 10, 2021
  • Absolute – February 24, 2021


  • Prizm – March 3, 2021
  • Origins – March 10, 2021
  • Contenders – March 24, 2021
  • Crown Royale – March 31, 2021


  • Donruss Optic – April 14, 2021
  • Impeccable – April 28, 2021


  • Select – May 12, 2021
  • Noir – May 26, 2021


  • Court Kings – June 2, 2021
  • National Treasures – June 16, 2021
  • Mosaic – June 30, 2021

The Best Buys:


Prizm is the ticket. It's the most popular product they offer in both basketball and football and offers a sleek, stylish design with incredibly high resale demand.


Mosaic is our favorite trading card product here at AIROWS HQ. The cards are gorgeous and contemporary and even the inserts -- which traditionally don't sell very well elsewhere -- command a lot of demand. No going wrong here.

Other Good Plays

For those with the capital, Panini Noir offers gorgeous cards and National Treasure is as premium as it gets. Select and Donruss Optic also sell very well but the designs for both products are generally less interesting to us than Prizm and Mosaic.

The Stayaways

We recommend shying away from the "budget" releases like Hoops and Donruss. There is a classic, vintage-inspired appeal to both but the cards themselves don't carry much interest in the aftermarket.

The Rookies to Collect:

Though this rookie class isn't considered very strong, the lack of March Madness in 2020 leaves a lot of mystery and potential. We're big fans of Killian Hayes, the raw but dynamic left-handed shot maker hailing from France, Deni Avdija, a savvy wing from Isreal, and Tyrese Haliburton, the Iowa State guard whose game is as cool as his name. We're also excited to see what the electric and ambidextrous passer Lamelo Ball brings to the court, who could become a human highlight reel if everything clicks.