The total business value of all 30 NBA teams, including ownership stakes in real estate, team-trusted holdings and regional sports broadcasters, is upwards of $70 billion. The Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks are each worth more than $5 billion.
10) Toronto Raptors
Value: $2.55 billion
In the year Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors to their first title, the franchise scored record revenues and profits in the process of hosting 12 home playoff games. Another boost came with the addition of Scotiabank as the arena naming rights sponsor.
9) Dallas Mavericks
Value: $2.58 billion
Since their 2011 title, the Mavericks have not won a playoff series, but fans are all-in on second-year megastar Luka Doncic. The franchise ranked third in per-game attendance last year and has sold out more than 800 straight games, including playoffs, at the American Airlines Arena.
8) Los Angeles Clippers
Value: $2.63 billion
The addition of two All-Stars made the Clippers an NBA Finals favourite. They do not have a strong following on television. During the 2018-19 season, the team had the third-lowest average rating in the entire league. Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer is the richest owner in sports, worth more than $50 billion.
7) Houston Rockets
Value: $2.77 billion
The Rockets took a big hit to business after GM Daryl Morey tweeted an image voicing support for protests in Hong Kong. Since the tweet, Chinese leagues, sponsors, partners and streaming services have severed or paused relations with the Rockets and the NBA. The Rockets had numerous Chinese always, a carryover from when the team drafted Yao Ming first overall in the 2002 Draft.
6) Chicago Bulls
Value: $3.14 billion
Since the Bulls lost 70% of their games over two seasons, a 24% drop in broadcast ratings occurred. The fall was the league’s fourth-worst. But for 15 straight years, the Bulls have ranked among the top two teams in attendance. In the 2019-20 season, their attendance rank fell to ten halfway through the season.
5) Boston Celtics
Value: $3.18 billion
After a $100 million renovation at the TD Garden, its capacity has been increased to 19,156. These 500 added seats sold like hot cakes thanks to a waiting list for tickets despite prices that rank among the top echelon of teams. Fans have also been treated to a winning product with 11 playoff appearances over the past dozen years.
4) Brooklyn Nets
Value: $3.40 billion
Joseph Tsai bought 49.9% of the Nets from Mikhail Prokhorov in April 2018 and then the entire team in September 2019. Tsai also acquired the operating company for the Barclays Center as a part of the deal. The total enterprise value for the team and arena business was $3.3 billion.
3) Los Angeles Lakers
Value: $5.14 billion
A summer 2019 trade for Anthony Davis brought the Lakers to the league’s elite and hottest ticket. Delta Air Lines, which has been their sponsor since 2011, signed a long-term extension with them in October. The deal gives season ticket holders the rights to exchange tickets to a handful of games for flight vouchers.
2) Golden State Warriors
Value: $5.21 billion
No team in professional sports has grown in value as fast over the last decade as the Warriors. In 2010, Joseph Lacob bought the team for $450 million, including the new Chase Center. After five trips to finals and three titles, their run ended after a loss to Toronto.
1) New York Knicks
Value: $5.42 billion
Despite their poor performances on the court, the New York Knicks are the league’s most valuable franchise. According to a sports banker working with NBA teams, the Knicks traded honesty for anonymity. “They sold their naming rights without giving up the name,” he said.