NBA: Knicks retain top spot as Forbes' most valuable NBA team

The New York Knicks are the NBA's most valuable franchise, worth US$3.3 billion (S$4.68 billion).
The New York Knicks are the NBA's most valuable franchise, worth US$3.3 billion (S$4.68 billion). PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS

(REUTERS) - The New York Knicks are the NBA's most valuable team for the second consecutive year despite having been shut out of the play-offs since 2013, according to a Forbes poll released on Wednesday that showed the average team value rose 9 per cent.

The Knicks' value rose to US$3.3 billion (S$4.68 billion), up 10 per cent from last year, as they continue reaping the rewards of a $1 billion renovation to Madison Square Garden, which produced new revenue opportunities from sponsorships and seating.

According to Forbes, the Knicks also posted an NBA-record operating profit of US$141 million last season, despite a 32-50 season record.

It was the first season of the team's new local cable deal with MSG, which paid US$100 million in year one.

The Los Angeles Lakers (US$3 billion), Golden State Warriors (US$2.6 billion), Chicago Bulls (US$2.5 billion) and Boston Celtics (US$2.2 billion) rounded out the top-five.

The reigning NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers were ranked 11th out of the league's 30 teams with a 9 per cent jump in value to US$1.2 billion.

The Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder all lost money last season due to excessive payrolls that triggered the luxury tax.

The average NBA team's value rose to US$1.36 billion, a rise driven by the NBA's nine-year, US$24 billion media deal with ESPN and TNT that kicked off this season, a new collective bargaining agreement ensuring seven years of labour peace and substantial international opportunities for the league.