Forbes released its annual franchise valuations today and the Thunder came out looking very good, being worth an estimated $475 million and an annual profit of $30 million.
The most valuable is the Knicks at $1.1 billion with the Lakers right behind at $1 billion.
Clay Bennett’s group purchased the Thunder from Howard Schultz for $350 million. In 2007, the last full year the Sonics were in Seattle, the franchise was valued at $267 million by Forbes.
The Thunder are 12th overall in the league and one of the most valuable so-called small market teams. Last season the Thunder ranked 15th worth an estimated $348 million. The increase isn’t just a Thunder thing though, as the league average of franchise values rose 30 percent across the board, with the average value being $509 million.
Why? Here’s why: “Higher revenue from television, new and renovated arenas, and the NBA’s new collective-bargaining agreement, which reduced player costs from 57 percent of revenues to roughly 50 percent. The labor deal also increased the amount of money high-revenue teams provide low-revenue teams.”
So happy we had that lockout.
Here’s what Forbes credited for OKC’s rise this year:
The Thunder raced to the finals last year where they lost to the Miami Heat in five games. The Thunder, following a second consecutive strong playoff run, posted the third-highest average cable rating (6.58) on FS Oklahoma, more than doubling the team’s rating from the prior season. Last season marked the first year of the Chesapeake Energy’s arena naming rights deal, which nets the team $3 million annually. Forward Kevin Durant led the league in scoring for a third straight year during the 2011-12 season and finished second in the MVP balloting.
I know what you’re thinking. Because I was thinking it too.
The Thunder are valued at $475 million with an annual profit of $30 million and they claimed poor and didn’t re-sign Harden? What?
I don’t really argue with that, but you have to realize that the Thunder were willing to break into significant luxury tax territory to keep Harden. The four-year, $55 million offer was just short of a max and would’ve had the Thunder footing a pretty massive tax bill anyway.
Also, keep in mind the Knicks, who again are valued at $1.1 BILLION, let Jeremy Lin walk because of the poison pill year put on the back end of his contract that would’ve had them hit hard by the tax.
Here’s how all 30 teams shook out:
1. New York Knicks: $1.1 billion
2. Los Angeles Lakers: $1 billion
3. Chicago Bulls: $800 million
4. Boston Celtics: $730 million
5. Dallas Mavericks: $685 million
6. Miami Heat: $625 million
7. Houston Rockets: $568 million
8. Golden State Warriors: $555 million
9. Brooklyn Nets: $530 million
10. San Antonio Spurs: $527 million
11. Sacramento Kings: $525 million
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: $475 million
13. Phoenix Suns: $474 million
14. Orlando Magic: $470 million
15. Portland Trail Blazers: $457 million
16. Cleveland Cavaliers: $434 million
17. Utah Jazz: $432 million
18. Los Angeles Clippers: $430 million
19. Denver Nuggets: $427 million
20. Philadelphia 76ers: $418 million
21. Toronto Raptors: $405 million
22. Detroit Pistons: $400 million
23. Washington Wizards: $397 million
24. Indiana Pacers: $383 million
25. Memphis Grizzlies: $377 million
26. Minnesota Timberwolves: $364 million
27. New Orleans Hornets: $340 million
28. Atlanta Hawks: $316 million
29. Charlotte Bobcats: $315 million
30. Milwaukee Bucks: $312 million