Forbes Magazine recently came out with a listing of the NBA’s most valuable franchises, and their appraisal values are in the gazillions.
One surprising franchise that makes the Top 10 is the Toronto Raptors—a team that has had some of the league’s most electrifying players including Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady and now Demar DeRozan during their short existence.
There is a fictitious idea out there that players don’t want to play for the Raptors. Excuses such as the differences in currency, taxes and the frigid cold come to mind.
And while there have been a few exceptions to the rule (Antonio Davis didn’t want his kids learning the metric system, for fear they would get confused), it’s pretty much a fallacy.
The exchange rate isn’t the problem, because the players are paid in American dollars—despite the fact that the two currencies are practically on par, with the Canadian dollar expected to surge past the greenback this year.
Taxes are not the problem, because they are taken into account and built into the player’s contract—where the player gets more money to account for the higher taxes.
But the real reason for player discontent in Toronto, however, has been the team’s management, who are too busy turning a profit to care about the fact that they continually run this franchise into the ground.
Isaiah Thomas was a bright spot for the franchise with an uncanny ability to measure great players. It was he who brought in the likes of Damon Stoudamire, Marcus Camby and Tracy McGrady.
Unfortunately MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Inc.), the company that owns the Raptors, fired Thomas when a power struggle for ownership ensued.
Playing by accepted protocol and the rules of forward thinking has never been at the front of MLSE’s playbook. That includes the way they run their other franchises, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, who by themselves are also worth more than most NBA teams, including the Raptors.
And as a result, the beautiful yellow brick road that Thomas built became unglued with the first brick.
Damon Stoudamire was upset with Thomas’ departure and wanted out.
Then MLSE became aware of Marcus Camby’s sex scandal during college and as a result, quickly traded him.
When Vince Carter came on board and became the electrifying star that he was, MLSE went out of their way to let McGrady know that he was second fiddle to his cousin Vince. That did not sit well with McGrady, who promptly wanted out.
Then when Vince Carter’s mother started acting like the unofficial GM of the Raptors, MLSE quickly began to draw the line on her ridiculous demands.
They made a diplomatic statement in short order by first taking away her parking space, and then proceeded to ignore Vince’s request to bring in Julius Irving as head coach without explanation—after asking his advice in the first place.
That was enough for Vince to start turning blue in the face and begin his childish tantrums, while demanding a trade out of town.
It’s important to note that Camby was forced out of town and was upset with leaving the club. Also, Carter and Chris Bosh both signed second contracts with the club before leaving.
Smart management could have prevented both.
Bosh wanted to increase his brand and thought he could do it in Miami. But as much as Toronto liked Bosh, he was no Vince Carter—he did not get anything close to Vince’s endorsements.
Today (to his surprise) third fiddle Bosh’s major endorser is a car dealership—despite dreaming of LeBron and Wade like deals.
And Damon Stoudamire has gone on record stating that one of the biggest regrets he has was leaving the franchise that drafted him.
So after all that, this franchise is still extremely valuable.
Where does Toronto rank when it comes to the 10 most valuable franchises in the NBA?
To think that wherever it is—it could be higher, if only management would get their house in order.