From The Court To The Bank: The Top 10 Richest NBA Teams

The Golden State Warriors are the richest team in the NBA worth over $7.7 billion, followed by the New York Knicks at $6.6 billion, and the Los Angeles Lakers at $6.4 billion.

Let’s take a look at the ten richest teams in the NBA according to the most recent individual valuations by Forbes.

1. Golden State Warriors – $7.7 billion

Golden State Warriors
Image credit: nikk_la/Flickr, CC BY 2.0
  • Last Sale: $450 million in 2010
  • Owners: Joe Lacob, Peter Guber

A lot of critics laughed when venture capitalist Joe Lacob and Mandalay Entertainment CEO Peter Guber paid $450 million for the Golden State Warriors in 2010. The Warriors had posted 14 losing seasons in the previous 16 years, but both astute businessmen had a keen eye for undervalued assets.

The Warriors quickly reversed their losing ways, and developed a winning culture that resulted in four NBA championships and six trips to the NBA Finals between 2015 and 2023.

Championships boost revenue across the board and in turn, the franchise’s value exponentially increases. The Warriors jumped from a valuation of $1.9 billion to $2.6 billion the year after Steph Curry led them to their first title in 2015.

At the start of the 2019-20 season, the Warriors found a new home at the Chase Center in downtown San Francisco after moving across the bay from Oakland.

Northern California is the hub for tech industry and the Bay Area is home to one of the largest concentrations of wealth on the planet. The Warriors are the hottest ticket in San Francisco, so it’s no surprise to see the Warriors at the top of the list of richest teams in the NBA. The Warriors became the first NBA team to be worth over $7 billion back in 2022. They’re currently worth $7.7 billion and their value is rising.

The Warriors banked $765 million in revenue during the 2022-23 season, and they didn’t even make it to the NBA Finals that year. Rakuten pays the Warriors approximately $20 million per season to have its logo placed on jerseys. Other corporate sponsors for the Warriors include Google, Oracle, Chase Bank, Verizon, and Ticketmaster.

By the end of next season, the Warriors expect their valuation will pass $8 billion. Meanwhile, the Warriors are racing against the Knicks and Lakers to become the first NBA team to be valued at $10 billion.

2. New York Knicks – $6.6 billion

New York Knicks
Image credit: Keith Allison/Wikipedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Last Sale: $300 million in 1997
  • Owner: James Dolan (Madison Square Garden Sports)

The Knicks have not won a championship in over 50 years, and yet they’re the second richest team in basketball. That’s what happens when you play your home games at the world-famous Madison Square Garden in the heart of Midtown Manhattan.

The Knicks have a fervent fan base who supported the team during their most downtrodden times. Diehard fans remain loyal even though the Knicks have one of the most hated owners in all professional sports. James Dolan, the scion to the Cablevision fortune, inherited the Knicks after his father purchased the team in 1997 for $300 million.

For the last two decades, fans have been begging Dolan to sell the Knicks. Even their famous supporters, like Spike Lee and Ben Stiller, would love to have new ownership. Dolan has stated he would never sell the team. In 2020, the Knicks were valued at $5 billion. Dolan received multiple offers to sell the Knicks for well over $6 billion, and he rejected all suitors.

In just seven years, the Knicks doubled in value and they’re now worth $6.6 billion. A sale price today could fetch over $8 billion.

The Knicks have been on an upswing the last couple of seasons, and fans have not been this excited since the team’s heyday in the 1990s. If the Knicks somehow win a championship in the next few years, they have a chance to overtake the Warriors as the richest team in the NBA to become the first franchise worth over $10 billion.

The Knicks earned $504 million in revenue in the 2022-23, including a $16 million from a uniform sponsorship deal with Squarespace. During the most recent season, the Knicks had a jersey sponsorship with the Las Vegas Sphere. The Knicks also have a special corporate sponsorship with Wall Street titans J.P. Morgan Chase. Other corporate partners include Lexus, Delta Airlines, and multiple online sportsbooks.

3. Los Angeles Lakers – $6.4 billion

Los Angeles Lakers
Image credit: Erik Drost/Wikipedia Commons, CC BY 2.0
  • Last Sale: $1.35 billion in 2021 for 27% stake
  • Owners: Jeanie Buss (Buss Family Trust), Todd Boehly, Mark Walter

In 1979, Dr. Jerry Buss acquired the Los Angeles Lakers from Jack Kent Cooke for $20 million in a deal that involved cash and real estate. When Buss discovered he was a few million short, he threw in the Chrysler Building to make up for the deficit.

Heading into the 2023-24 season, the Lakers were tied with the Boston Celtics for most championships in NBA history with 17. The franchise won six titles before Buss bought the team but won 11 championships since 1979.

There’s never any shortage of celebrities in attendance whenever the Lakers play a home game in downtown L.A. Some of the biggest stars in Hollywood and the music industry are often found sitting courtside during games.

After Dr. Buss passed away, his daughter Jeanie Buss took over day-to-day operations of the Lakers. In 2021, She orchestrated a minority sale to Todd Boehly and Mark Walter for $1.35 billion which seems like a huge discount compared to what the franchise is worth today.

Bibigo, a global Korean food brand, paid the Lakers $27 million as their jersey sponsor last season. The Lakers play their home games at Arena, formerly known as the Staples Center. Other major corporate sponsors include Nike, American Express, and Toyota.

4. Boston Celtics – $4.7 billion

Boston Celtics
Image credit: Lorianne DiSabato/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • Last Sale: $360 million in 2002
  • Owners: Wyc Grousbeck and Stephen Pagliuca (Boston Basketball Partners)

Venture capitalists Wyc Grousbeck and Stephen Pagliuca formed Boston Basketball Partners and purchased the Celtics for $360 million in 2002. The team won its 17th championship in 2008, only six years after Grousbeck and Pagliuca bought the team.

Celtics recently won their 18th championship, which makes them the winningest franchise in NBA history. It’s one of the reasons why they’re valued at $4.7 billion and ranked #4 overall as the richest team in the NBA.

Vistaprint took over as jersey sponsor of the Celtics in 2020. The design and marketing company pays around $15 million per season. Other corporate sponsor include Gatorade, Dunkin’ Donuts, DraftKings, Comcast, and JetBlue Airlines.

5. Los Angeles Clippers – $4.65 billion

Los Angeles Clippers
Image credit: Paul de los Reyes/Wikipedia Commons, CC BY 2.0
  • Last Sale: $2 billion in 2014
  • Owner: Steve Ballmer

The Clippers are the second team in Los Angeles behind the Lakers, and have been playing in their shadow since they relocated from San Diego in 1984. The franchise has never won a championship, and fans are convinced the team is cursed because of their lack of success in the postseason.

Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, is the richest NBA owner in the league. According to Forbes, Ballmer is the seventh richest person in the world with a net worth of nearly $130 billion. Ballmer didn’t blink when he plopped down a cool $2 billion to buy the Clippers in 2014. Insiders thought he was crazy to overpay for a franchise in turmoil. Ballmer got the last laugh. In less than seven years, the Clippers doubled in value and they’re now in the Top 5 of the wealthiest teams in the NBA.

In 2018, the dating app Bumble inked a three-year jersey sponsorship deal worth $20 million. Their most recent deal with Honey expired at the end of this last season. The Clippers are discussing a new patch deal that could be worth over $20 million per season. Other corporate sponsors include Lexus, Verizon, JBL, and Anheuser-Busch beer.

6. Chicago Bulls – $4.6 billion

Chicago Bulls
Image credit: yuan2003/Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0
  • Last Sale: $16.2 million in 1985
  • Owner: Jerry Reinsdorf

Jerry Reinsdorf was a former IRS agent who started a company that used loopholes in the US tax laws to leverage a fortune in real estate. He purchased the Chicago White Sox baseball team in 19981 and added the Chicago Bulls to his portfolio in 1985. The Bulls drafted Michael Jordan (who is the all-time richest NBA player) the year before, but they’d have to wait until 1991 before they won their first of six championships.

The Bulls last won a title in 1998, but the franchise has been living off Jordan’s legacy for over 25 years. The franchise is now worth $4.6 billion and would easily fetch almost $6 billion if it were sold today.

Motorola, which is headquartered in Chicago, became the official smartphone of the Bulls in 2022. Motorola also inked a jersey sponsorship. Other corporate sponsors include American Express, AT&T, Lexus, and Coca-Cola.

7. Dallas Mavericks – $4.5 billion

Dallas Mavericks
Image credit: David Herrera/Flickr, CC BY 2.0
  • Last Sale: $3.5 billion in 2023 for 73% stake
  • Owners: Adelson family, Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban is one of the original American “tech bros.” He sold his company,, to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in 1999. He used some of the proceeds to purchase the Dallas Mavericks for $200 million in 2000, and became one of the youngest owners in pro sports.

The Mavericks won their first and only championship in 2011, but they advanced to the NBA Finals in 2006 and 2024.

Cuban recently sold a majority stake of the Mavs to the Adelson family, who amassed their fortune in the gambling industry with marquee casinos in Las Vegas and Macau. Cuban banked $3.5 billion on the sale, and he still owns more than a quarter of the team.

Chime, a financial technology company based in San Francisco, signed a jersey sponsorship deal in 2020 that was worth $10 million per season. Other corporate sponsors include American Airlines, Ford Motors, and Keurig Dr Pepper.

8. Houston Rockets – $4.4 billion

Houston Rockets
Image credit: Keith Allison/Wikipedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Last Sale: $2.2 billion in 2017
  • Owner: Tilman Fertitta

The Rockets won back-to-back NBA championships in the mid-1990s thanks to former #1 pick Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon. Even though the Rockets have not won a title since 1995, they’re ranked #8 as one of the richest teams in the league with a valuation of $4.4 billion.

The Rockets doubled their valuation in less than seven years. When Tilman Fertitta purchased the team in 2017, he paid $2.2 billion. Fertitta is founder of Landry’s, a hospitality and entertainment company, that operates multiple restaurant brands and casinos including the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas.

The Rockets have a jersey sponsorship deal with Credit Karma. Other corporate sponsors include Adidas, NRG Energy, Toyota, and Southwest Airlines.

9. Philadelphia 76ers – $4.3 billion

Philadelphia 76ers
Image credit: Philadelphia 76ers/Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0
  • Last Sale: $287 million in 2011
  • Owners: Joshua Harris, David Blitzer (Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment)

The Philadelphia 76ers won their first championship in 1955 when they were known as the Syracuse Nationals. The team relocated to Philadelphia in 1963 and rebranded as the 76ers, which drew inspiration from the Declaration of Independence that was signed in Philadelphia by America’s Founding Fathers in 1776.

The 76ers won their second title, and first title in Philadelphia, in 1967 thanks to a squad led by Wilt Chamberlain, Billy Cunningham, and Lucious Jackson. The 76ers won their franchise’s third and last championship in 1983 thanks to Julius “Dr. J” Irving.

A pair of bankers who formed Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment purchased the 76ers in 2011 for $287 million. The 76ers are now worth $4.3 billion and a juicy $4 billion more than its last sale price. The 76ers have not won a championship in over 40 years, but they’re still among the wealthiest teams in the NBA and ranked #9 overall.

Th 76ers have a jersey sponsorship with Other corporate sponsors include Coca-Colla, Comcast, BetMGM, PokerStars, and Ticketmaster.

10. Toronto Raptors – $4.1 billion

Toronto Raptors
Image credit: Mark Runyon/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
  • Last Sale: $400 million in 2012
  • Owner: Larry Tanenbaum (Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment)

The Toronto Raptors joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1995. The Raptors are the only pro basketball team in Canada after the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated to Memphis in 2001.

Larry Tanenbaum is the chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Raptors. They paid $400 million to purchase the Raptors in 2012. Contrary to many urban myths, the popular Canadian rapper Drake does not own the team. Drake is the Raptors’ most high-profile fan and often spotted sitting courtside.

The Raptors are now worth $4.1 billion, and currently occupy the tenth spot on the list of wealthiest teams in the NBA. Winning their first and only NBA championship in 2019 boosted their overall valuation.

Sun Life Financial signed a jersey sponsorship with the Raptors in 2017, and they agreed to extend their deal in 2023. Other corporate sponsors include Air Canada, McDonalds, Google, Mastercard. and Scotia Bank.

Overall Value Of The NBA

Business is booming in the NBA. The league earned $13 billion during the 2023-24 season, which is an increase of 11% from the previous season.

Sponsorship revenue reached a historic high in 2023 with over $1.6 billion mostly derived from arena sponsorship rights fees and jersey sponsorships. A total of 868 companies inked a sponsorship deal with at least one NBA team. Coca-Cola, Toyota, and Verizon had deals with no less than 20 different teams.

The average franchise in the NBA is now worth $3.85 billion, according to Forbes Magazine, thanks to a new TV rights deal. The average valuation is up 35% from last season, and up over 75% since 2019.

The Phoenix Suns and Charlotte Hornets were both sold in 2023, which directly contributed to the current surge in valuation across the league. In February 2023, Mat Ishbia purchased the Suns for $4 billion. In August 2023, Michael Jordan sold the Hornets to Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall for $3 billion.

The partial sale of the Dallas Mavericks was also a factor. In November 2023, Mark Cuban sold a majority share of the Mavs to the Adelson family for $3.5 billion, and he still retains 27% of the team.

For more articles on the NBA, check out: