Ben Simmons Rookie Card List Top 15
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Ben Simmons: The Best Player in the World?

In November of 2014, Ben Simmons, a senior in high school, signed a National Letter of Intent to attend LSU. Immediately, he was hailed as the savior of LSU basketball, and he was put on the same level as Shaq and Pistol Pete. Shaq agreed, posting on Instagram that Simmons was “the best player in the world” shortly after the announcement.
The hype started young. Andrew Gaze recalled watching Ben at 13 years old playing Australian rules football (AFL). Gaze was a five-time Olympic basketball player for Australia. He spoke in an interview, where he talked to Ben’s mother while Ben played, “And she was telling me at the time that Ben had a real passion for AFL, and was doing well at the junior level. I remember thinking ‘I hope we don’t lose him to the AFL.’”

Bio

Ben Simmons was born on July 20, 1996 in Melbourne, Australia. His father was an American playing professional basketball in Australia. Growing up, Simmons played basketball, rugby, and American rules football. He showed a proclivity for all three, but he was torn between AFL and basketball. When he was put in the position of ruckman in AFL, he grew dissatisfied with the sport, and he focused on basketball.
Simmons possess a rare combination of size and skill that translated across sports. Today, at 6 feet and 10 inches, he can move and pass well. Simmons recognizes this, “I think my versatility is a big strength. I don’t think anybody can guard me, just because I’m 6’10 and can dribble and play point. If I have a little guy on me, I take him to the post. For me to be able to then pass the ball, it helps me a lot.”

He has worked on dominating through this format since he was a kid.

For his sophomore year of high school, Simmons moved to Montverde Academy in Florida which was renowned for its basketball program. He quickly rose as a prospect. His team went on to win three national titles in a row, and by his senior year, Ben Simmons was truly a stud. He averaged 28 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2.6 steals on 70.7% FG. Thus, he was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year.
Simmons did so well his senior year that many speculated if he would still attend LSU. Others believed that Simmons might play professionally abroad for the year.
The one-and-done rule did irk Simmons. He remarked, “I look at the N.B.A. as a job, a great job to have, so I think, for me, I would have loved the opportunity to go to the N.B.A. out of high school. If you’re not ready, you’re not ready. If you are ready, I think you should be able to go.”

His "One and Done" Documentary

He participated in the documentary titled “One and Done.” The documentary covered part of his senior year of high school, his year in college, and the draft. In the documentary, Simmons states, “Everybody’s making money except the players. We’re the ones waking up early as hell to be the best teams and do everything they want us to do and then the players get nothing. They say education, but if I’m there for a year, I can’t get much education.”

The debate carries on in the NBA. Simmons brought his side to the arguments. He played hard in college, regardless of the controversy.

LSU Hype Was Lost

In spite of all of the expectations of a LSU revival, the Tigers had an underwhelming season. They finished 18-13, and they failed to make the NCAA Tournament. This did create doubts on whether Simmons would be drafted number one. On the other hand, Simmons racked up 19.2/11.8/4.8 on 56/33/67 shooting, Freshman of the Year from the Writer’s Association, and consensus first team All-American.

Much of the response was good. Magic Johnson tweeted, “LSU's Ben Simmons is the best all around player I've seen since LeBron James came out of high school straight to the NBA!”

As the world of sports goes, there was another side. Pundits and ex-players, such as Stu Jackson and Tracy McGrady, expressed concern as to whether he should go number one, citing his difficult season and his general “attitude.”

NBA Draft #1 Pick

The individual performances of Simmons outweighed the punditry and the team’s failings, and he was selected number one by the Philadelphia Sixers. He was the 3rd number one pick to have been born in Melbourne (Bogut and Irving).

After signing to Klutch Sports and sharing an agent with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, John Wall, etc., Simmons had a promising Summer League debut, though nothing superb. However, before the regular season could start, he injured his right foot. After initially being ruled out for 3-4 months, he was sidelined for the entire season.
Simmons was said to be “heartbroken” according to the then General Manager Bryan Colangelo. During the season and off season, pundits speculated on how Simmons would return. Many considered him an outside shot for Rookie of the Year, no longer the favorite.

His First NBA Games

Finally, after a long wait, fans witnessed what Ben Simmons could do in the NBA. Right off the bat, he established himself as a point forward with a future. With the body of a forward (6-10, 230lbs), he could move, pass, and dribble like a point guard. He is part of “positionless basketball” in which he can guard and play multiple positions.
Simmons commented, “Getting the rebound and going, that’s probably the most fluid part of my game.” This may sound simple, but it is a highly valued trait for a player in today’s game. Think of Russell Westbrook or LeBron James; not only can they grab the rebound, but they are able to dribble it up court and make the appropriate pass for the score. Simmons is part of that category of rebound and go.

Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson Quailities

His first triple double game in his third game as a rookie, and the triple doubles continued to flow. By the end of the season, Simmons had amassed 1000 points, 500 rebounds, and 500 assists. Those rookie season numbers were matched only by Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson.
The comparisons between Simmons and those two started in October of 2017, and the comparisons have not slowed down as the numerical evidence only increases. Simmons has the potential to be a triple double machine.

2017-2018 Rookie Success

Along with the Rookie of the Year Award, Ben Simmons was a major reason for his team’s success in 2017-2018. The Sixers finished the season with 15 straight wins with the 3rd seed at 52-30, which was franchise’s best record since their 2001 Finals berth with Allen Iverson.
In Round One of the playoffs, Simmons and the Sixers took on the Miami Heat. In the crucial game 4, Simmons had a crucial game with a triple double to take the series to 3-1. After dominating the Heat in five, the Sixers were destroyed in five games to the Celtics.

Ben Simmons’ rookie year is seen as successful.

He did what a number one pick is expected to do. Simmons made an impact on a 50-win playoff team. So far, he is a promising number one pick.

Yet, there is one resounding problem that is to be answered. That is, Simmons’ range. He has no midrange, let alone a three point shot. In today’s game, that would normally be considered a death sentence for an aspiring super star.

Skills to Improve On

According to Basketball Reference, 99% of his shots were two pointers during his rookie season. He was an astounding 74% from 0-3 feet. That’s excellent, but the trouble begins to show. 42% from 3-10 feet, 31% from 10-16 feet, 39% from 16 feet to the 3-point line, and 0% from the 3 (though he only took 11 three’s all season).
The NBA season is 20 games in, and the shooting stats look even worse. Granted, his FG% has gone up from 54.5% to 55.3%, but those numbers are misleading because Simmons is taking more shots at the rim. In fact, of every distance that I listed above, his percentages have gone down.

Living up to the Hype?

If anything will hold Simmons back, it is this. The NBA is in an age of the 3 ball. Centers shooting five threes a game is not uncommon. In order for Simmons to be great, to live up to the hype, to meet all expectations, he has to develop a shot or be a freak. And by freak, I mean a player who redefines modern basketball, as in the anti-Curry.
Simmons responded to concerns with confidence, “A lot of guys go into the NBA not being able to shoot the ball well, but then they become great shooters.” It reminds of the D-Rose, “Why not?”

Sophmore Season

Today, Simmons finds himself in a noteworthy sophomore season. He is putting up good numbers, 16/9/8 (one more rebound than last year). The Sixers have acquired the controversial Jimmy Butler. The team is at 13-8, and they play in the wide open East which lacks LeBron James.
It’s all about the team for Simmons. He talked about the sports were more team-oriented in Australia, saying, “Growing up in Australia and the way I was raised, my dad told me to play as a team and to be a team player. You have five guys on the court. It’s easy for five guys to defend one guy. It’s hard to guard five. It’s just a natural thing to do.”

Summary

At the end of the day, Simmons seems to loom large. That documentary seems to have had an impact, Simmons dating Tinashe or Kendall Jenner is national news, and he’s already been in the news for five years.
To stick to basketball, he is the number one pick of 2016, the Rookie of the Year of 2018, the body of the positionless basketball of the future, and the shooting of a 7-2 center. Good or bad, we are going to be hearing, reading, and talking about this man for a few more years. At the least.

Top 15 Ben Simmons Rookie Cards

#15

2016 Panini Donruss Optic Ben Simmons Rookie Card #151

PSA GEM-MT 10​

Ben Simmons Rookie Card 2016 Panini Donruss Optic PSA Gem Mint 10
2016 Panini Donruss Optic Ben Simmons Rookie Card on ebay

2016 Optic is a very clean and collectible set. The early Donruss design adapted from 90’s baseball cards offers a vintage look while the chromium finish gives it a nice feel. The Ben Simmons base rookie card is a must-have for any collector. A major plus on this is that it is one of his most affordable rookie cards. 

Raw un-graded copies are averaging at under $4. PSA Gem-Mint 10 copies are on the decline right now. They average out at about $35 but recent sales have been around $20. 

Population Report:

1,365  of the Ben Simmons rookie cards have been submitted to PSA for grading so far. How many PSA 10’s are among those? A whopping 1,108 cards graded out to be in Gem-Mint 10 condition. Thats over 80% of his cards. These numbers are pretty impressive for a relatively newer product. Consider buying ungraded copies and submitting them yourself. Or for $20, pick one up on eBay. 

#14

2017 Panini Absolute Ben Simmons Rookie Card #200

PSA GEM-MT 10​

Ben Simmons Rookie Card 2016 Panini Absolute PSA Gem Mint 10
2017 Panini Absolute Ben Simmons Rookie Card #200​ on eBay

Panini Absolute printed 200 cards in their base set with Ben Simmons being the last card. The rookies are serial numbered out of 999 and are prominently displayed in the lower right-hand corner of the card.

With the foil printed card, the photo and details are darker than holo printed cards. So, displaying this rookie card in a PSA case won’t be the highlight of your collection. Unless, of course, you have a bright light beaming on it. 

Population Report:

47 total have been submitted to PSA for grading. Of those 43, only 19 were in Gem-Mint 10 condition. Which, foil cards do tend to grade a bit harder due to chipping on the edges or noticeable surface imperfections.

With the pop reports for Gem Mint cards being less than half, the value could be on the rise. Consider scooping up some un-graded copies to submit to PSA yourself. 

#13

2016 Panini Hoops Green Ben Simmons Rookie Card #261

PSA GEM-MT 10​

Ben Simmons Rookie Card 2016 Panini Hoops GREEN PSA Gem Mint 10
2016 Panini Hoops GREEN Ben Simmons Rookie Card #261​ on eBay

The first official NBA product of the year, 2016-17 Panini NBA Hoops Basketball continues the popular low-end line with the earliest chance for collectors to find pack-pulled rookie cards from the 2016 NBA Draft class. Similar to other Panini products, there are plenty of color variations to choose from. Hoops had cards inserted in both retail and hobby packs. 

PARALLEL CARDS: Blue, Red Backs, Teal Explosion, Green #/149, Silver #/99, Red #/49, Artist Proof #/25, Gold #/10, Artist Proof Black 1/1.

RETAIL-ONLY PARALLEL CARDS: Blue Checkerboard #/75 (Blasters), Orange Explosion #/75 (Fat Packs), Teal #/49 (Gravity Feeds), Orange #/25 (Gravity Feeds), Red Checkerboard #/15 (Blasters).

Population Report:

On one hand, there has been an impressive amount of the base Hoops Ben Simmons rookie cards submitted, 859 in total. On the other hand, his plethora of parallels have not been as heavily submitted. Getting a fair market value on a PSA Gem-Mint 10 won’t be possible until more auctions are held and selling prices are established. Consider picking up raw copies of his parallels for a bargain before the populations start growing. 

#12

2016 UD Goodwin Champs Ben Simmons Rookie Card #SP-1

PSA GEM-MT 10​

2016 UD Goodwin Champs Ben Simmons Rookie Card #SP-1​

Upper Deck Goodwin Champions offer a classic style card with a water brush portrait. With Ben Simmons signing an exclusive deal with Upper Deck this set had some hype built up prior to its release. The Ben Simmons base SP rookie card is said to have been inserted, 1:1,080 hobby packs. Making it an extremely difficult card to pull.

Population Report:

36 total Ben Simmons SP rookie cards have been found and submitted to PSA so far. 29 were deemed to have been in Gem-Mint 10 condition. With the exclusive deal with Upper Deck, this may prove to be one of Simmons’ more iconic rookie cards. 

#11

2016 Panini Spectra Ben Simmons Rookie Card #60

PSA GEM-MT 10​

Ben Simmons Rookie Card 2016 Panini Spectra PSA Gem Mint 10
Ben Simmons Rookie Card 2016 Panini Spectra #60 on eBay

Since Spectra’s debut in 2013, the sets popularity has slowly been increasing among collectors. With the prismatic base set, numerous low print runs and vibrant parallels, it’s no wonder as to why. 

Spectra cards are super thick 130 pt cards. They come 10 cards per pack and only 1 pack per hobby box. Hobby boxes are averaging around $150 on eBay. 

Population Report:

Due to their relative youth in the hobby, Spectra rookies have not been flooding into PSA. Only 16 of the Ben Simmons rookie cards have been submitted so far. Only half of those were declared to be in Gem-Mint 10 shape. 

#10

2016 Panini Select Ben Simmons Silver Prizm #251

PSA GEM-MT 10​

Ben Simmons Rookie Card 2016 Panini Select Silver Prizm on eBay

There are three levels of Ben Simmons rookie cards in  the 2016 Select set. The most common rookie is the Concourse Level #60. Second level rookies are called Premier Level, his #141 card. Premier levels cards are slightly more rare than Concourse Level. The rarest cards in the set are called Courtside Level.

With Courtside Level being the rarest, it is also the most expensive. His #251 Courtside Level is consistently selling for over $150, in PSA Gem-Mint 10 condition.

Population Report:

44 of his Courtside Level #251 rookies have been submitted to PSA for grading. Of those 44 cards a impressive 40 cards received the high honor of being in Gem Mint condition. Which, equates to a 90% success rate if submitting a card yourself. 

#9

2016 Donruss Optic Ben Simmons Rookie Card HOLO #151

PSA GEM-MT 10​

2016 Donruss Optic Ben Simmons Rookie Card HOLO #151​

When investing in modern rookie cards, Donruss Optic Holo cards is a safe choice. The vintage design paired with a modern-day prism finish make them a fan favorite among many collectors. 

Additionally, being sold in retail locations such as Target and Wal-mart allowed collectors access to them at very affordable prices. Making them highly collectible both in the present and the future. 

Population Report:

Surprisingly, only 158 of the Ben Simmons Holo’s have been submitted to PSA. 112 of those cards were deemed to be in Gem-Mint 10 condition. They are currently selling for roughly $196 a piece. 

#8

2016 Donruss Ben Simmons Rookie Card Holo Laser Red #151

PSA GEM-MT 10​

2016 Donruss Ben Simmons Rookie Card Holo Laser Red on eBay

Base Donruss isn’t a show stopper but the parallels are a different story. Serial numbered out of only 99 makes the Holo Laser Red parallel rare and collectible. Add the red borders to match his 76ers uniform and you’ve got a spectacular looking Ben Simmons rookie card.

Although it’s not his rarest card in the set, it is definitely one of the most appealing. A must-have for any collector. 

Population Report:

8 of the 99 printed copies have been submitted to PSA for grading. 6 of those 8 were deemed to be in Gem-Mint 10 condition. If you see any raw copies up for auction, I would definitely bid on it. 

#7

2016 Panini Limited Ben Simmons Rookie Card #145

PSA GEM-MT 10​

2016 Panini Limited Ben Simmons Rookie Card PSA Gem Mint 10
2016 Panini Limited Ben Simmons Rookie Card #145 on eBay

In addition to the 100 card base set, Panini Limited had 10 short printed cards, making it 110 cards total (not including the rookie jersey’s). The #145 Ben Simmons rookie card was one of the 10. The SSP cards are said to have been inserted 1 per case or 1 in every 12 boxes. Acquiring this card via hobby box would be a daunting task. 

Population Report:

12 Ben Simmons SSP cards have been graded by PSA so far. 5 were in Gem-Mint 10 condition, 6 were in Mint 9 and 1 got an NM-MT 8 grade. 

Due to their scarcity, these SSP Simmons cards are highly desired in the PSA 10 cases. A raw copy just sold for $98 at auction on eBay while a PSA Mint 9 sold for only $78. I would consider purchasing the Mint 9, breaking the case, and re-submitting to PSA. If you land a Mint 9 you’ve still got a great card. 

#6

2016 Panini Prizm Silver Prizm Ben Simmons Rookie Card #1

PSA GEM-MT 10​

Ben Simmons Rookie Card 2016 Panini Prizm Silver Prizm PSA Gem Mint 10
2016 Panini Prizm Ben Simmons Rookie Card Silver Prizm on eBay

Despite the growing population of the PSA Gem-Mint 10’s, they still sell for $1,300+. Aside from his Mojo and Teal wave prizm, the Silver prizm is his highest selling card in PSA 10 condition. 

Panini Prizm has taken the lead when compared to it’s sister brand, Panini Donruss Optic. Especially when comparing the base holo/prizm parallels. 

Population Report:

232 of his Silver Prizm cards have been submitted so far. Which, has the highest population of any of his Prizm’s by over 50%. Of the 232 cards submitted less than half graded out to be in Gem-Mint 10 at 100 total. 

If you can get your hands on a raw copy you should most definitely consider sending it to PSA for grading. PSA Mint 9 copies have been averaging around $600. So it’s a decent profit if you can purchase one for under $500. 

#5

2016 Impeccable Ben Simmons Rookie Card #67

PSA GEM-MT 10​

2016 Impeccable Ben Simmons Rookie Card PSA Gem Mint 10
2016 Impeccable Ben Simmons Rookie Card on eBay

Panini Impeccable, in my opinion, are greatly undervalued. The Watercolor black and white photo in the background was beautifully executed. It allows the front color photo to really pop out and appear 2 dimensional. A silver ink border and text adds a touch of elegance that no other Simmons rookie card has. The serial numbered stamp to match the silver foil is displayed directly above Ben’s head in an evident area, which screams limited. 

Although the value has gone up on these considerably since 2017, they are still vastly undervalued. They are currently selling at roughly $1,700 in PSA Gem-Mint 10 condition. 

Population Report:

19 of the 99 printed cards have been submitted to PSA. 13 were in Gem-Mint 10 condition. Un-graded cards are listed for around $1,100. Submitting one for grading yourself could land you a nice profit, as long as you have the capital to invest. 

#4

2016 National Treasures Ben Simmons Rookie Card #53

PSA GEM-MT 10​

Ben Simmons Rookie Card 2016 Revolution GALACTIC PSA Gem Mint 10
2016 Revolution Galactic Ben Simmons Rookie Card on ebay

Adding a 2016 Panini Revolution Ben Simmons card to your collection shouldn’t be too difficult. Unless your target is the super rare Galactic parallel. Among several foil parallels, Galactic is the rarest found in 1:288 packs. Cosmic, Sunburst, and Futura are other options that combine to drop one per box.

Like many Panini products, the photo was borrowed from another set. Can you guess it?    

Population Report:

Population reports are showing only 3 Ben Simmons Galactic parallels have been submitted to PSA so far. All 3 were slabbed in a PSA Gem-Mint 10 case. The second rarest card in the set, Futura, shares a similar pop report with the exception of having 1 Mint 9 copy. 

#3

2016 National Treasures Ben Simmons Rookie Card #53

PSA GEM-MT 10​

2016 Panini National Treasures Ben Simmons Rookie Card
2016 Panini National Treasures Ben Simmons Rookie Card #53on ebay

No auto, no jersey, and no diamond. So why so expensive? The National Treasures brand alone is what makes this rookie card so desirable. One big reason is that National Treasure does not disappoint with their designs. Such beauty and balance across the vertical and horizontal layout. Centered serial number stamps allow for immediate recognization to the limited print run. Clean, centered and vibrant photo’s of the players are another illuminating aspect to this card. 

Average selling price for one of these beauties in PSA Gem-Mint 10 condition? Only $5,278. There’s one up for auction right now at $7,550. 

Population Report:

As of today, 22 of the 99 copies have been submitted to PSA for grading. Only 9 of those copies landed the illustrious designation of a 10 grade. 

#2

2016 Panini Flawless Ben Simmons Rookie Card #6

PSA GEM-MT 10​

Ben Simmons Rookie Card 2016 Panini Flawless on eBay

Possessing so many skills that they are bursting out of his 6-foot-10 frame, Simmons complements his ball-handling, rebounding and defensive abilities with a knack for scoring from any angle. No spot on the court is safe when he has the rock, as the fine-formed phenom can light it up from long distance at the drop of a hat. 

Parallels:

In addition to the base Single Diamond (#/25) are Double Diamond (#/10), Triple Diamond (#/5), and Platinum Diamond (1/1) editions. Falling one per box, all base cards and parallels are encased.

Population Report:

Limited to only 25 copies, the flawless rookie is extremely valuable and desired. There are 9 single diamond base rookies in PSA cases. All 9 were declared to be in Gem-Mint 10 condition. 

#1

2016 - 17 Exquisite Collections Ben Simmons Rookie Card Auto /99

PSA GEM-MT 10​

Ben Simmons Rookie Card Auto 2016 - 17 Exquisite Collections Autograph PSA Gem Mint 10
Ben Simmons Rookie Card Auto 2016 - 17 Exquisite Collections on ebay

If the design of the 2016-17 Exquisite Collection card looks familiar it because it’s not a unique design. Upper deck used the exact design in the 03′-04′, 09′-10′ and 13′-14′ sets. Couple the recycled design with Simmon’s non-action photo, sloppy autograph, no team logo and you get a number 1 rookie card. One that has been selling, in Gem-Mint 10 condition, for over $19,000, on average.  

Why does Panini even bother with creating unique, shiny, new-age, abstract and inventive designs? Just reuse the old stuff. It’ll sell, right? Love it or hate it. This is Ben Simmons highest selling rookie card in PSA 10 condition. 

Population Report:

Only 17 of the Ben Simmons Exquisite Collection rookie cards have been slabbed in a PSA case. Of those 17, only 4 were in PSA Gem-Mint 10 condtion. 

What are your thoughts?

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