Knicks, Lakers and Bulls Top List of NBA's Most Valuable Teams

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2014

Amar'e Stoudemire has found one of the franchises that can afford his salary.
Amar'e Stoudemire has found one of the franchises that can afford his salary.Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

The New York Knicks are No. 1 in something! 

According to Forbes' Kurt Badenhausen, Carmelo Anthony's team is checking in as the most valuable franchise in the NBA, boasting a current value of $1.4 billion.

To put that in perspective, James Dolan could afford to match Warren Buffett's March Madness offer, and his franchise would still be worth only $5 million less than the Milwaukee Bucks, who are on the opposite end of the spectrum. 

Here's what the financial website had to say about the franchise that recorded a $287 million revenue last season: 

A second round playoff run and higher revenue from the $1 billion renovation of Madison Square Garden pushed the Knicks' operating income to $96 million last season, the highest in the history of the NBA. The team also boasted the second largest average TV audience per game (230,000), behind only the Los Angeles Lakers. Both the Knicks and MSG Network are owned by the publicly traded Madison Square Garden Company. 

Checking in at No. 2 are the Los Angeles Lakers, valued at $1.35 billion. And the only other team topping the billion-dollar mark is the Chicago Bulls.

Everyone else is only recording a nine-figure value. Poor NBA franchises, right? 

Interestingly enough, none of the top three is having a particularly impressive season. 

The Knicks have struggled to live up to the preseason expectations, and just about everything has gone wrong in Madison Square Garden. Between J.R. Smith, Chris Smith, Mike Woodson and Amar'e Stoudemire, they've been the most disappointing team in the NBA. 

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 5: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks to the media before a game against the Denver Nuggets at STAPLES Center on January 5, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Meanwhile, injuries to Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose have contributed to the Lakers' and Bulls' struggles. 

If the Bulls fall off their current pace and New York fails to turn things around, we could be looking at a postseason without any of the three most valuable franchises. 

Here is the full order: Knicks, Lakers, Bulls, Celtics, Nets, Rockets, Heat, Mavericks, Warriors, Spurs, Thunder, Trail Blazers, Clippers, Suns, Magic, Kings, Jazz, Raptors, Cavaliers, Nuggets, Wizards, Pacers, 76ers, Grizzlies, Pistons, Timberwolves, Hawks, Pelicans, Bobcats, Bucks. 

I guess money isn't everything.