The NFL is struggling for an exhaustive number of reasons (which we've covered before), and the NBA is simultaneously flourishing. With marketable stars such as LeBron James and Stephen Curry, a forward-thinking media philosophy (hello, massive TV deal), and a game that's exploding internationally, it makes sense that seemingly every monetary figure surrounding the NBA is increasing.
Just look at how much the players are making these days. Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley signed a contract worth nearly $153 million in 2016. No disrespect to Conley—he's certainly a solid NBA point guard; he could play for my team any day—but it's ludicrous to consider he's making about $10 million more per year than Tom Brady is with the Patriots.
NBA players aren't the only ones who've seen their business boom. Teams are seeing their values soar as well.
Forbes released its team valuations for 2018 on Wednesday. Every team is worth at least $1 billion, according to their calculations. The average team is worth $1.65 billion, which is a 22 percent increase from last year. 22 percent! That's a seismic leap in one year.
As Kurt Badenhausen writes for Forbes, franchise values have tripled since 2013.
In 2018, the most valuable NBA franchise remains the New York Knicks—which is unsurprising, considering NYC is the biggest U.S. media market. The squad is worth $3.6 billion. Rounding out the top five are the usual suspects: the Los Angeles Lakers ($3.3 billion), Golden State Warriors ($3.1), Chicago Bulls ($2.6), and Boston Celtics ($2.5).
What about the teams at the bottom? The New Orleans Pelicans are worth $1 billion. Next-least-valuable are the Memphis Grizzlies ($1.025 billion) and Charlotte Hornets ($1.050). Check out the full list in the tweet below.
Though this news is encouraging for basketball proponents, the average NFL franchise remains worth nearly a billion more ($2.5 billion) than the NBA average.