The value of an NBA franchise depends on a lot of things. From the team’s venue to the talent, teams are worth billions of dollars. While the usual suspects dominate the top, fans may be surprised to find a perennial bottom-feeder as one of the most valuable NBA franchises.
Valuing an NBA team
Value can be finicky. With LeBron James as the head of the team, the Cleveland Cavaliers went from the 25th-ranked team to the 15th-ranked team overnight.
Likewise, the Los Angeles Clippers, who’d not yet acquired Kawhi Leonard and Paul George at the time of Reuters’ rankings, will likely elevate their success with their new-look team. However, these are the top-five teams in terms of value via Reuters.
5. Boston Celtics: $2.8 billion
Due to the Celtics’ longevity and ability to contend across many eras, the Boston plays in a market that worships the basketball team. It’s also a historically great market for sports teams.
With a young core and the ability to pull the occasional rabbit out of their hat contention-wise, the Boston Celtics are one of the most consistently good NBA franchises. They have the most championship rings out of any team to show for it.
4. Chicago Bulls: $2.9 billion
Despite an inconsistent run since Jordan retired, the Bulls remain among the most popular NBA teams. Right now, Chicago does not have much going for it, but every time they get it together, the team draws a loyal fan base, sparking appeal across the nation thanks to the historic nature of the franchise.
3. Golden State Warriors: $3.5 billion
Valued at $3.5 billion right before their move across the bay to San Francisco, the Warriors are on the heels of one of the most dominant runs the NBA has ever seen. Golden State’s brand-new arena is meant to drive in deep-pocketed fans and investors. Once the team gets its stars back, we’ll see everything we need to know about their future value.
2. Los Angeles Lakers: $3.7 billion
The Lakers boast a desirable market and a hot brand behind their name. The high-priced seats at Staples Center and deep-pocketed celebrities who pay top-dollar to see the games don’t hurt either. Nothing about this is surprising. The fact that it doesn’t put the team atop the standings, however, is a little shocking.
1. New York Knicks: $4 billion
The Knicks have not had more than a handful of playoff teams since James Dolan took over the team. Dwelling near the bottom of rankings and showing no sign of improvement, the team still has some promising young pieces in RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson.
Dolan has become an infamous owner due to his inability to build a winning product. Luckily for him, the Knicks play in the most popular NBA arena in a top-tier media market, even if the loyal fanbase is bound to be disappointed.
Should the Knicks ever put together a promising team, the value could rocket sky-high, but Dolan seems content to stay exactly where he is.
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