Forbes released its annual list of the NBA’s most valuable teams Wednesday morning with the Kings valued above $1 billion for the first time.
The Kings are worth $1.075 billion, according to the publication, a 16 percent increase over last year and more than twice what a group led by principal owner Vivek Ranadive paid for the team less than four years ago. Ranadive’s group bought the Kings for $534 million in May 2013.
The Kings, ranked 15th on this year’s list, are part of a leaguewide trend. Forbes valued the average NBA franchise at $1.36 billion, with 18 teams worth more than $1 billion. Five years ago, the Lakers were Forbes’ most valuable team at $900 million.
Forbes attributed the upsurge to the NBA’s lucrative media deals with ESPN and TNT, a seven-year collective-bargaining agreement reached in December and increased opportunities for the league in international markets.
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For the Kings, their value was boosted by the October opening of Golden 1 Center, built for $557 million and billed as one of the most technologically advanced facilities in sports.
Forbes also reported the Kings’ operating profit at $18.4 million, compared with a league average of $31 million per team, which it deemed a record high.
Valued at $300 million just five years ago, the Kings have risen along with the rest of the NBA despite a lack of on-court success. The Kings have not posted a winning record since the 2005-06 season and since then have lost 65 percent of their games (301-559).
Value, though, does not necessarily come from winning. Forbes’ most valuable teams this year are the New York Knicks ($3.3 billion) and the Los Angeles Lakers ($3 billion). The Knicks last made the playoffs in 2013 and are mired in controversy between their management and both current and ex-players. The Lakers are headed for their fourth consecutive losing season.
The Golden State Warriors, who have appeared in two consecutive NBA Finals, rose to third in the Forbes rankings at $2.6 billion, marking an NBA-high 37 percent increase in value over last year.
The Kings entered Wednesday’s road game against the Warriors on a four-game winning streak and 1 1/2 games behind Denver for eighth place in the Western Conference.
A recent history of the Kings’ estimated value/ranking by Forbes:
Year: Value, rank
2017: $1.075 billion, 15th
2016: $925 million, 18th
2015: $800 million, 24th
2014: $550 million, 16th
2013: $525 million, 11th
2012: $300 million, 23rd
2011: $293 million, 24th
Kings 2017 value at a glance:
Principal owner: Vivek Ranadive
Purchase price/year: $534 million/2013
Estimated value: $1.075 billion (15th)
Revenue: $164 million
Operating income: $18.4 million
Debt/value: 47 percent
Player expense: $84 million
Gate receipts: $31 million
Wins-to-player cost ratio: 78
Revenue per fan: $41
Metro-area population: 2.2 million
2017 Forbes NBA value rankings:
1. New York Knicks, $3.3 billion
2. Los Angeles Lakers, $3 billion
3. Golden State Warriors, $2.6 billion
4. Chicago Bulls, $2.5 billion
5. Boston Celtics, $2.2 billion
6. Los Angeles Clippers, $2 billion
7. Brooklyn Nets, $1.8 billion
8. Houston Rockets, $1.65 billion
9. Dallas Mavericks, $1.45 billion
10. Miami Heat, $1.35 billion
11. Cleveland Cavaliers, $1.2 billion
12. San Antonio Spurs, $1.175 billion
13. Toronto Raptors, $1.125 billion
14. Phoenix Suns, $1.1 billion
15. Kings, $1.075 billion
16. Portland Trail Blazers, $1.05 billion
17. Oklahoma City Thunder, $1.025 billion
18. Washington Wizards, $1 billion
19. Orlando Magic, $920 million
20. Utah Jazz, $910 million
21. Detroit Pistons, $900 million
22. Denver Nuggets, $890 million
23. Atlanta Hawks, $885 million
24. Indiana Pacers, $880 million
25. Philadelphia 76ers, $800 million
26. Memphis Grizzlies, $790 million
27. Milwaukee Bucks, $785 million
28. Charlotte Hornets, $780 million
29. Minnesota Timberwolves, $770 million
30. New Orleans Pelicans, $750 million