Knicks, Lakers Continue To Lead The Pack Of Most Valuable NBA Teams
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Forbes released their ranking of the value of NBA franchises on Wednesday and despite their struggles last season, the Los Angeles Lakers are ranked second with a value of $1.35 billion, which is a 35% increase over 2011’s value.

The Lakers received a significant boost in revenue from the first season of their 20-year, $3.6 billion TV rights deal with Time Warner Cable.  In the first season of the TV deal, the Lakers received $122 million from Time Warner, heavily contributing to the team’s overall revenue of $295 million.

After revenue sharing and luxury taxes, the Lakers turned a $66 million profit. Despite the lucrative TV contract, the Lakers finished behind the New York Knicks, who are valued at $1.4 billion.

The Lakers  weren’t the only franchise to see their value increase in 2012, as Forbes states profitability was up across the league.  Teams had an average of $23.7 million in operating income, which is the highest average since Forbes began valuing NBA franchises in 1998.

Forbes calculates the average value of NBA franchises to be $634 million, which is a 25% increase over the 2011 season.

Franchises have quickly seen the benefits of the new collective bargaining agreement that ended the 2011 lockout.  Players now receive 50% of revenues, as opposed to 57%, and revenue sharing has aided the lower-tier franchises. According to Forbes, only four teams lost money.

With the Lakers making a concerted effort to lower salary cost in 2013, they could once again see an increase in their value and profit in Forbes’ 2014 rankings.

As David Stern steps down from his role as commissioner on Feb. 1, he leaves the NBA in a much better state than when he inherited it.
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