Knicks retain No. 1 spot in Forbes' NBA team valuations

ByDarren Rovell ESPN logo
Thursday, February 16, 2017

The New York Knicks might be struggling on and off the court, but they're still the most valuable franchise in the NBA.

Helped by their $1 billion renovation of Madison Square Garden and a new cable deal, the Knicks are now worth $3.3 billion, according to the newly published franchise values in Forbes magazine.

TheLos Angeles Lakers,who have also had their share of dysfunction, are the second-most-valuable team, at $3 billion.

Buoyed by their rapid rise and forthcoming arena, which is on track for 2019, the Golden State Warriors are worth $2.6 billion, according to Forbes. Owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber bought the team for a then-NBA-record $450 million in July 2010.

The Boston Celtics ($2.5 billion) and Chicago Bulls ($2.2 billion) round out the top five.

Forbes said the average NBA franchise is now worth $1.36 billion, more than double ($634 million) what the magazine said the average team was worth three years ago, when Adam Silver took over from David Stern as the league's commissioner.

Much of that rise has to do with the nine-year, $24 billion deal that the league signed with ESPN/ABC and Turner in October 2014. The deal began this season.

Forbes estimates three teams lost money last season -- the Cleveland Cavaliers, theLA Clippersand the Oklahoma City Thunder -- because of luxury-tax payments.

Despite being on course to play in their third straight NBA Finals, the Cavaliers fall outside the top 10 most valuable teams (No. 11), with a franchise value of $1.2 billion.