The New York Knicks are the NBA's most valuable team for the second consecutive year despite having been shut out of the playoffs since 2013, according to a Forbes poll released on Thursday that showed the average team value rose 9 per cent.
The Knicks' value rose to $3.3 billion ($4.29b), up 10 per cent from last year, as they continue reaping the rewards of a $1 billion renovation to Madison Square Garden, which produced new revenue opportunities from sponsorships and seating.
According to Forbes, the Knicks also posted an NBA-record operating profit of $141 million last season, despite a 32-50 season record. It was the first season of the team's new local cable deal with MSG, which paid $100 million in year one.
The Los Angeles Lakers ($3 billion), Golden State Warriors ($2.6 billion), Chicago Bulls ($2.5 billion) and Boston Celtics ($2.2 billion) rounded out the top five.
Reigning champions Cleveland were ranked 11th out of the league's 30 teams with a 9 per cent jump in value to $1.2 billion.
The Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder all lost money last season due to excessive payrolls that triggered the luxury tax.
The average team value rose to $1.36 billion, a rise driven by the NBA's nine- year, $24 billion media deal with ESPN and TNT that kicked off this season, a new collective bargaining agreement ensuring seven years of labour peace and substantial international opportunities for the league.