Despite being one of the perennial worst teams in the leauge, the New York Knicks are the most valuable team in the NBA worth $4 billion according to the latest report by Forbes.

New York Knicks
New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox rises for a dunk against the New Orleans Pelicans at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Image: Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty)

Playing home games at the historic and newly-renovated Madison Square Garden (aka MSG) is one of the main reasons the Knicks are worth $4 billion. The Knicks (10-43) are basement dwellers in the Eastern Conference and hold the worst record in the league. The Knicks recently took heat from their fanbase after trading Kristaps “Unicorn” Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks.

Forbes NBA Valuations

Forbes released their annual NBA team values. These overall valuations incorporate four categories: sport, market, stadium, and brand.

In the last five years, the average NBA franchises tripled in value. In 2014, the average NBA was worth approximately $635 million. According to the latest update by Forbes, the average NBA franchise is worth $1.9 billion today. Last season, the average team was valued at $1.65 billion.

1. New York Knicks $4 billion
2. LA Lakers $3.7 billion
3. Golden State Warriors $3.5 billion
4. Chicago Bulls $2.9 billion
5. Boston Celtics $2.8 billion
6. Brooklyn Nets $2.35 billion
7. Houston Rockets $2.3 billion
8. Dallas Mavericks $2.25 billion
9. LA Clippers $2.2 billion
10. Miami Heat $1.75 billion

The Knicks might suck as a basketball team, but the lucrative financials of the team is what makes them so attractive to analysts, including the second-largest cable television deal in the NBA. MSG, dubbed the “most famous arena in the world”, is worth $995M. As a pro sports team, the Knicks are valued at $611 million. The NYC market is worth $1.83 billion, while the overall brand is only valued at $563 million.

The LA Lakers, now with LeBron James, were second on Forbes list at $3.7 billion. The Golden State Warriors are seeking a three-peat this season and they moved up to third on the list with a valuation of $3.5 billion.

The Memphis Grizzlies ($1.2 billion) and New Orleans Pelicans ($1.22 billion) were listed as the least-valuable NBA franchises. The Pelicans have been caught up in the impending Anthony Davis breakup. They also sandbagged the LA Lakers by leaking details of their trade negotiations. Despite their woes, the Pelicans are worth 22 percent more this season.

The Philadelphia Sixers saw their value jump 40 percent. The Sixers recently traded for Tobias Harris and boast one of the top starting lineups in the NBA. The Milwaukee Bucks, thanks to the rise of the Greek Freak and a new stadium, saw an uptick of 26 percent.

For Sale: $5 Billion

During a rare interview, New York Knicks owner James Dolan mentioned that someone casually offered him $5 billion for the Knicks. That number seemed laughable at the time. But it fits in line with Forbes most-recent update of $4 billion.

The Knicks are worth 11% more than the previous valuation mostly due to the renovation of Madison Square Garden. The multi-use arena located in the heart of midtown Manhattan underwent a $1 billion facelift. MSG hosts events nearly every day of the year including home games for the Knicks and Rangers. The annual circus comes to MSG along with a slew of concerts and college basketball games.

Knicks fans love the players, but hate the billionaire owner. ESPN’s Ian O’Connor painted a good picture about James Dolan.

O’Connor wrote, “(James) has been painted as a grown-up rich kid with a volcanic temper and a born-on-third-base makeup, and as a hapless owner whose clashes with the media suggest he’s more concerned with controlling negative commentary than he is with fixing the problems that encourage it.”

Fans know that they will never win a title so long as Dolan owns the team. Fans got a potential glimmer of hope when Dolan mentioned that he was open to selling the team.


The team would be worth more than $4 billion if they had more than two winning seasons in the last 18 years. The Knicks have not been in the postseason since 2013 with six-straight losing seasons.

The Knicks have been jinxed ever since head coach Jeff Van Gundy left the team. Van Gundy stepped down to spend more time with his family in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City.

The Knicks tapped Phil Jackson to become the general managers, hoping Jackson would turn the Knicks into contenders. He introduced Tex Winter’s triangle offense, but the Knicks could not figure it out. Mike D’Antoni brought his run-and-gun spread offense to MSG, but it didn’t suit Carmelo Anthony and they ran D’Antoni out of town. These days, D’Antoni is coaching the high-octane Houston Rocket, while the entire league is running a variation of his offense.

Twelve coaches later, David Fizdale is hoping he can turn the team around. The Knicks were in tank-mode and Fizdale butted heads with veterans that were benched in favor of younger players.

Bright Future at MSG?

The Knicks went into this season with a specific goal to tank in order to acquire a high draft pick. They have been sucking for Zion Williamson. The superstars from Duke went on the record stating he’d love to play at MSG for the Knicks next season.

After trading Porzingis and dumping salary, the Knicks cleared in excess of $70 million in cap space. With enough room to pursue two free agents, the Knicks are hoping to land Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. With the addition of a lottery pick, Knicks fans would love to see a starting lineup with Williamson, Durant, and Irving. Of course, that’s a big if. It all depends on Durant.

Most recently, Anthony Davis expressed his interest in being traded to the Knicks, but the New Orleans Pelicans shot down any offers.

If the Knicks win an NBA title in the next decade, they could push the franchise price tag to over $10 billion. The Knicks have not won the NBA championship since they hung a banner in the rafters of MSG in 1973.

According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the Knicks are 5,000/1 odds to win the NBA Championship this season.

Similar Guides On This Topic