New York returns to the top spot after ceding it to the Los Angeles Lakers for a year.
The Knicks are valued at $3 billion, a 20 percent increase over their $2.5 billion valuation during the 2014-15 season.
Beyond a revamped roster, not-so-terrible record, and the arrival of exciting rookie Kristaps Porzingis, Forbes states the Knicks "increase is driven by a new cable deal and having the highest premium-seating revenue in the league."
Here's the entire list, in screenshot form:
A few takeaways:
- The Brooklyn Nets are the only team with a negative operating income, which is great for the league but terrible for the Nets.
- The Golden State Warriors had the largest increase in valuation since last year, at 46 percent.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder had the smallest, at 2 percent.
For an idea of just how insane the returns are for NBA owners, here's ESPN's Darren Rovell:
New York's current owners bought the Knicks, the NHL's Rangers, Madison Square Garden and the MSG Network for $1.1 billion in 1994. … The most impressive rise in franchise value is the Golden State Warriors, purchased by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber for a then-record $450 million in July 2010. Forbes says the Warriors … are now the sixth-most valuable franchise at $1.9 billion. … The Dallas Mavericks were bought by Mark Cuban in 2000 for $285 million. The team is now worth $1.4 billion, according to Forbes, which is a 250 percent jump over the last 16 years, factoring for inflation. … Michael Jordan, who owns 93 percent of the Charlotte Hornets, bought 80 percent of the team on a $275 million valuation in 2010. Forbes says the team is now worth $750 million. … Jerry Buss bought the Lakers from Jack Kent Cooke in 1979 for $16 million. By 1990, the team was said to be worth a league-record $200 million by Financial World Magazine. … The least valuable team in the league is the New Orleans Pelicans at $650 million. The NBA sold the team to Tom Benson for $338 million in 2012.
That's all well and good, but if I were a billionaire (and how do you know I'm not?), I'm buying low on the Philadelphia 76ers.
Ranked 28th out of 30 teams, the Sixers have a populated East Coast city and, despite their perennially awful record, a boatload of valuable assets to burn whenever they're good and ready to burn them and become a competitive team again.