The Los Angeles Lakers have consistently been one of the most valuable NBA franchises for decades, dating all the way back to when Dr. Jerry Buss purchased the team in 1979 and proceeded to rattle off 10 championships in the following 30 years.
Despite hard times hitting the franchise in the 2010s, missing the playoffs six consecutive years and putting up four of the worst seasons in the team’s history, L.A. remained at or near the top in terms of value and on-court production.
The 2019-20 season saw the Lakers reclaim their spot atop the NBA landscape, and their value absolutely reflects that. Now Peter J. Schwartz of Sportico released an annual list of the most valuable NBA franchises, ranking the Lakers ($5.14 billion) in third in the NBA.
Only the New York Knicks ($5.42 billion) and Golden State Warriors ($5.21 billion) received higher valuations.
The Knicks, Warriors and Lakers each have a significant advantage over the next grouping on the list by virtue of being valued for at least $5 billion. Teams Nos. 4-6 — the Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls, respectively — are all valued in the low $3 billion.
The Houston Rockets ($2.77 billion), L.A. Clippers ($2.63 billion), Dallas Mavericks ($2.58 billion) and Toronto Raptors ($2.55 billion) round out the top 10.
According to Sportico’s calculations, the Lakers ranked second in revenue for the 2018-19 season and third in revenue for 2019-20. The Lakers actually ranked second in terms of team value by itself to only the Knicks, but were dropped to third overall when the Warriors real estate and other business partnerships were taken into account.
Given that the Lakers are championship contenders yet again for the 2020-21 season, it’s likely that their value will continue to stay at the top, perhaps overtaking the Warriors and Knicks with both being middling .500 teams and not contenders.
Lakers experiencing growing pains
Although the Lakers have generally fared well this season, they no longer hold the best record in the NBA or Western Conference. Some of that has been attributed to head coach Frank Vogel needing to use games to test rotations because of limited practice time.
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