The Milwaukee Bucks are one win from heading to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974. It won’t be easy as they head to Atlanta for Game 6 without their two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who hyperextended his knee in a scary Game 4 incident. Should the Bucks get past the Hawks, they would play for a championship for the first time in 47 years. They’ve come a long way over the years with new ownership and a new arena. How much is the franchise worth these days?
The Milwaukee Bucks came under new ownership in 2014
The Bucks got new life with new ownership in 2014. In the 10 years before Herb Kohl sold the team to its current owners, the Bucks made the playoffs just three times, losing in the first round each year. In 2014, Kohl sold his beloved team to a trio of investors – Mark Lasry, Wes Edens, and Jamie Dinan. A fourth, Mike Fascitelli, owns a lesser stake, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Kohl sold the team for $550 million, plus an additional pledge of $200 million (half from the new owners, half from previous owner Kohl) for a new arena that would keep the franchise in Milwaukee. Fiserv Forum, which opened in August of 2018, is the new home of the Bucks and cost $524 million to build. It holds 17,500 for basketball games and is a state-of-the-art facility.
Lasry is the CEO of Avenue Capital Group and is worth $1.8 billion, according to Forbes. Edens founded Fortress Investment Group and is worth $1.2 billion. Dinan is the founder of York Capital Management, and his estimated net worth is $1.9 million.
How much are the Milwaukee Bucks worth?
According to Forbes, the Bucks are valued at $1.625 billion. That total was calculated in February and that number will likely keep growing, especially if they earn their way into the NBA Finals. The team is loaded with talent, and Antetokounmpo is locked in for five years after signing his extension this offseason.
The $1.625 billion figure is a pretty penny, but it isn’t even in the top half of the NBA. The Bucks rank 20th overall. They are sandwiched between the Oklahoma City Thunder (No. 21, $1.575 billion) and the Denver Nuggets (No. 19, $1.65 billion).
Team success doesn’t necessarily translate into a higher ranking on the value list. The New York Knicks are the perfect example as they find themselves perfect atop Forbes’ list at $5 billion. The Knicks made the playoffs for the first time this year since the 2012-13 season. Coming in at No. 2 were the Golden State Warriors ($4.7 billion), followed by the Los Angeles Lakers ($4.6 billion).
The future is bright for the Bucks
Antetokounmpo inked a five-year, $228 million extension to remain in Milwaukee. The deal came after he won two straight MVPs. He’s still only 26 years old.
Milwaukee’s turnaround can be credited to the new ownership, but it can also be linked to Antetokounmpo, who was drafted by the Bucks with the 15th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. After a mediocre rookie season, Antetokounmpo has gradually improved and has since blossomed into one of the NBA greats. With the Greek Freak locked up for the foreseeable future, Milwaukee’s likely to be a big-time player in the NBA.
The value of the Bucks has tripled in seven years since Lasry, Edens, and Dinan stepped up and purchased the team from Kohl. Let’s not shed a tear for Kohl, however. He purchased the Bucks in 1985 for $18 million.