Forbes just came out with its rankings of the most valuable franchises in the NBA. The top teams are exactly who you might expect, the Knicks, Lakers, Bulls and Celtics. It's when you get a little bit further down the rankings that it starts to get a little interesting.
Surprisingly, to me at least, the Wizards rank in the top two thirds of NBA franchises in terms of value. At No. 19 overall, there are 11 teams that Forbes deems more valuable then the Wizards. All of whom have won a game on the road this season. More on the rankings after the jump.
I guess my surprise derives from some foundation-less notion that winning = value. I don't know why, but I think that the teams that win are always going to be the most valuable. While the Wizards aren't the worst team record-wise, they aren't exactly world-beaters this year. But I guess that doesn't mean a whole lot to the people at Forbes.
These numbers all come to us from last year, when the Wizards were going through a horrible stretch. So I guess isn't no surprise that they only saw $25 million in ticket sales and an overall $5.2 million loss in operating expenses. It values the franchise at $322 million dollars, right before they note that Ted Leonsis bought the team for $551 million at the end of last season. Maybe not the best investment, but who know how much of that includes the arena and other expenses.
I believe that their improvement in value, however, is tied to winning. They will never be able to compete value-wise with the teams from the bigger markets of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, but if they win, they will become much more valuable than they currently are.