Knicks, Warriors, Lakers, Nets Top Sportico's 2021 Most Valuable NBA Teams List

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2021

New York Knicks' Mitchell Robinson (23) falls on Boston Celtics' Jeff Teague during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The New York Knicks are reportedly the most valuable franchise in the NBA, worth $5.42 billion, according to Sportico's 2021 NBA franchise valuations. 

The Golden State Warriors ($5.21 billion), Los Angeles Lakers ($5.14 billion), Brooklyn Nets ($3.4 billion), Boston Celtics ($3.18 billion), Chicago Bulls ($3.14 billion), Houston Rockets ($2.77 billion), Los Angeles Clippers ($2.63 billion), Dallas Mavericks ($2.58 billion) and Toronto Raptors ($2.55 billion) round out the top 10. 

According to Peter J. Schwartz of Sportico, the average NBA franchise comes in at a valuation of $2.4 billion, a figure that represents a 2 percent decrease "as a direct result of the pandemic." 

Per that report, the NBA's cumulative team revenue of $8.3 billion represents a nearly 10 percent drop. That's a bigger number, to be sure, though "a closer look reveals that national revenues (accrued predominantly from the league's broadcast and sponsorship deals, as well as its licensing program) dipped only 2 percent."

That gave NBA franchises a level of stability in an unstable year, even with the 2019-20 season finishing at the Walt Disney World Resort bubble amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Schwartz wrote: "Global demand from billionaire fans, innovations in fan engagement and team-leveraged real estate plays are among the reasons, revealed to Sportico by more than three dozen sports bankers, economists and team executives, that make investing in the NBA the best growth opportunity in big league sports."

The estimation that the Knicks, Warriors and Lakers are all worth of over $5 billion makes them more valuable than 31 NFL teams, with only the Dallas Cowboys ($6.43 billion) exceeding those figures, per Sportico. The next most valuable NFL franchise is the New England Patriots ($4.97 billion). 

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Where the NFL flexes in comparison to the NBA is that none of its franchises are estimated to be worth less than $2 billion, with the Cincinnati Bengals ($2.12 billion) ranking 32nd. By comparison, 16 NBA franchises are estimated to be worth less than $2 billion, with the New Orleans Pelicans ($1.35 billion) bringing up the rear.