Forbes released their most recent NBA Team value list. The normal teams are atop the list, like the Knicks and the Lakers. The Thunder remained to 17th this season. What is so surprising about the list this year is two things: 1) Oklahoma City lost money 2) They are valued over a billion dollars. A whole Billion. That’s insane.
Last season, Forbes dubbed Oklahoma City the 17th most valuable franchise but they were only worth $950 million at the time. This season, Forbes said the Thunder organization is worth $1.0025, just a shade over a billion. Just four years ago, the franchise was worth only $590 million and that was considered a lot of money. The inflation rate for potentially buying in on an NBA team has grown exponentially.
Tthe Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and Thunder — and all three were in the red as a result of excessive payrolls that triggered nearly $90 million in luxury tax payments cumulatively.
The NBA has seen such growth as a league over the last few years. In 2013, the only team valued over a $1 billion was the Knicks. In today’s world, 18 franchises are. Another three are valued over $900 million. The talk of expansion has started to ramp up and the fee could be north of $750 million when all is said and done.
The Thunder lost money, too. Which is completely sensible, seeing how high the Thunder were in the luxury tax last season. Thankful for the massive spike in salary cap, the Thunder aren’t in that position this season. In fact, they’re one of the lowest salary caps in the NBA right now at 23rd of 30 teams. Oklahoma City will jump significantly next season to fourth, as they already have $109 million committed to players for next season.
The Thunder were never expected to be a team that was going to rake in the money. They’re a small market with only so many TV sets and one of the smaller arenas in the NBA. If they can stay around the 17th range, it’s a success for the team. Those slim margins are why the Thunder probably cannot afford a rebuilding session all over again and why they’ll have to pay the tax on occasion.
Oklahoma City’s rank on Forbes list of Most valuable:
- 2017: 17 ($1.0025 billion)
- 2016: 17 ($950 million)
- 2015: 13 ($930 million)
- 2014: 11 ($590 million)
- 2013: 12 ($475 million)
- 2012: 15 ($348 million)
- 2011: 18 ($329 million)
- 2010: 18 ($329 million)
- 2009: 20 ($310 million)
- 2008: 24 ($324 million)
It’s unknown how the Thunder will trend going forward, but Clay Bennett and Co. are just watching their product’s value just grow at a rapid pace.