Lakers Make the Most Money, Knicks Are Most Valuable Franchise

Forbes released their data of the most profitable franchises in the NBA. The New York Knicks cracked the $3 billion mark for franchise value. They passed the Lakers at the top of the money heap because of a new television deal and the take from the expensive seats which Forbes estimates to be $90 million. The Knicks value increased 20% over the past year putting them in exclusive company behind the Dallas Cowboys ($4 billion), New England Patriots ($3.2 billion) and New York Yankees ($3.2 billion).

The Lakers may be one of the worst teams in the NBA but the Buss kids keep rolling in the money. The Lakers made more money in profits than every other NBA team in 2014-2015, which means they are not suffering because of their mismatched personnel, sorrowful hiring decisions and abysmal record. In fact, the opposite is true. The Lakers television deal with Time Warner insulates them from the harsh reality that other bottom feeders (like the 76ers) go through. Usually, terrible teams don’t have a safety net to cushion the fall from grace. But, the Lakers are always the exception to ever rule that makes sense. Their gross was more than $133 million last year, a NBA record, even as Forbes noted, the Lakers ratings were down 50%. But their audience size is still the second largest in the NBA so the plunge in respectability doesn’t effect them like it should.

On the financial side of things, the NBA set records. Their revenue topped $5.2 billion, so no crying poor from this group of billionaire owners. Every team except one- the New Jersey Nets, made a profit.

The average NBA franchise is worth $1.25 billion, up 13% over last year, according to Forbes. Team values set to rise are Sacramento, Milwaukee and Golden State, all of whom expect new arenas to be built in the next five years. In theĀ Warriors case, they are leaving working class Oakland for toney San Francisco and the tech crowd. When that happens in the 2018-19 season, the Warriors should leap into the top 3 of valuable franchises, given they have a commensurate television deal.

The NBA’s new revenue deal with the ESPN/TNT, upwards of $24 billion, is going to trickle down to teams and salaries as early as this summer with an increase in the salary cap. Max contracts for veteran superstars may indeed hover around $35 million.

The $2 Billion Club:

  1. Knicks ($3 billion)
  2. Lakers ($2.7 billion)
  3. Celtics ($2.1 billion)
  4. Clippers ($2 billion)


photo via llananba