Like Money? Buy an NBA team

Forbes just released their 2012-13 NBA team valuations. Topping the list are the New York Knicks ($1.4 billion), Los Angelese Lakers ($1.35 billion), and Chicago Bulls ($1 billion). At the other end of the list are the New Orleans Pelicans ($420 million), Charlotte Bobcats ($410 million), and Milwaukee Bucks ($405 million).

These figures are substantially larger than they were even a mere two years ago. Take a look at this graph of NBA franchise values since 2001:

Those two lines at the top are the Knicks and Lakers. Since the 2011 lockout, the values of the Knicks and Lakers have increased by 80% and 50%, respectively. But this isn't just a story about the big market teams getting richer; since that lockout two years ago, every single team in the league has increased its value significantly. Across the league, the average increase over that time is just under 61%. No team saw a bigger increase in value than the Nets, which more than doubled its value, going from $357 million to $780 million. The Pistons (35.5%) and Raptors (36.1%) are the only two franchises that failed to increase their valuation by at least 40%.

Remember this the next time there is a labour dispute in the NBA: every franchise makes money for its owners. Even the ones that consistently miss the playoffs.