A new report on the value of the teams in the NBA finds that nearly half of them are worth a billion dollars each.
A new review of the league finds the teams found increasing wealth, especially after the $24 billion, nine-year TV deal the league negotiated, a deal worth triple the previous rates.
According to the review by Forbes, “The average NBA franchise is now worth $1.25 billion, up 13% over last year on the heels of a 74% gain the previous year after the national media deals were completed.”
At a valuation of $3 billion the New York Knicks took the top spot as the league’s most valuable team, pushing the Los Angeles Lakers back to second place after having taken the number-one spot last year. In fact, according to Forbes, the Knicks are up two percent over last year. The franchise, which has missed the playoffs in seven of the last ten years, is now the fourth most valued sports franchise in the U.S. behind the Dallas Cowboys (at $4 billion), New England Patriots ($3.2 billion), and New York Yankees ($3.2 billion).
As for the Lakers, the team is still a very profitable one and is now worth $2.7 billion.
Filling out the top five on the list of the most valuable teams are the Chicago Bulls ($2.3 billion), Boston Celtics ($2.1 billion), and Los Angeles Clippers ($2 billion).
In fact, nearly half the teams of the NBA are now worth a billion dollars or more. Fully thirteen of the thirty teams are now worth at least a billion, up three teams since two years ago. Another six teams are worth between $900 million and a billion, meaning that only a third of the teams in the NBA are worth substantially less than $900 million.
Yet even the bottom five are all worth over $600 million a piece.
At $650 million, the least valuable team in the league is the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans are followed by the Milwaukee Bucks at $675 million, the Philadelphia 76ers worth $700 million, the Minnesota Timberwolves measuring in at $720 million, and rounding out the bottom five is the Charlotte Hornets at $750 million.
The lowest teams also happen to be the teams with some of the highest percentage of debt, too.
The most indebted team is the Atlanta Hawks at 30 percent debt to value. Followed by the Milwaukee Bucks with 26 percent, the Sacrament Kings at 25 percent, the Detroit Pistons and the Memphis Grizzlies at 22 percent, and the Philly 76ers at 21 percent.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com