Being the most valuable and profitable teams in the NBA doesn’t always correspond with winning titles, but the last five teams to win an NBA title; the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat are all among the 10 most valuable franchises in the league.
San Antonio Spurs, $527 million
The Spurs made a profit of $15 million last year despite not being in a big TV market. The success and stability of the franchise for the last 15 years, the most successful in all Pro spots (winning 70% of their games) and having the highest ratings among NBA teams in their local market has certainly helped.
Brooklyn Nets, $530 million
The Nets record a $17 million loss last year, but that mostly counts against their New Jersey era. In Brooklyn, the team is adding the NHL’s Islanders as a tenant starting in 2015, which will help offset the arena’s operating expenses.
Golden State Warriors, $555 million
The Warriors recorded a $29 million profit last season. They plan to build a new arena on the San Francisco waterfront that is expected to be ready by 2017, and will finance the new building and its surroundings, which could cost $1 billion and also includes a hotel and condominiums.
Houston Rockets, $568 million
The team recorded a $27 million profit last season which will probably rise in the next few years thanks to launching its new regional sports network. Comcast SportsNet Houston, owned by the Rockets, MLB’s Houston Astros and Comcast, launched with the 2012-13 season.
Miami Heat, $625 million
The Heat’s cable television rating soared 34% last year, to an average of 6.59 on Sun Sports, second-best in the league. Having two of the NBA’s most marketable stars and being the NBA champions helped them make a profit of $15 million last season.
Dallas Mavericks, $685 million
The Mavericks recorded a profit of $13 million last season. Before this season, they had a sell-out streak of 432 regular season games, the best in the NBA.
Boston Celtics, $730 million
The $19 million profit the Celtics made last season was helped by having the NBA’s third highest average ticket price at $69. The Celtics signed a Courtside Club naming rights deal at TD Garden with Sun Life Financial, who took over the rights from the Lincoln car brand. The team also raised cash by bringing in a new investor, Rob Hale, last year.
Chicago Bulls, $800 million
The Bulls led the league in attendance for a third straight year with an average of 22,161 per game. Last season ratings on CSN Chicago averaged 5.8, 29% higher than the previous season and fourth best in the league, helping them make a profit of $34 million.
Los Angeles Lakers, $1 billion
The Lakers made a $48 million profit last season, although it hasn’t helped them win games so far this year. Their revenue stream should grow in the next few years; getting their new $3.6 billion television deal with Time Warner Cable off to a fast start by striking carriage deals before the season began with DirecTV, Cox, Verizon, AT&T and Charter for the team’s two new regional sports networks, Time Warner Cable Sportsnet and Time Warner Cable Deportes.
New York Knicks, $1.1 billion
The Knicks are the most valuable and profitable team in the NBA, with a profit of $83 million last season, partially thanks to the Jeremy Lin craze in 2012. Most of it though has been thanks to the $980 million renovation of the Madison Square Garden.
Hat tip: Forbes