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Blazers Climb To No. 12 In Forbes' 2014 NBA Franchise Valuations

The Portland Trail Blazers rank No. 12 in Forbes' 2014 NBA Franchise Valuations.


The Portland Trail Blazers rank No. 12 in Forbes' 2014 NBA Franchise Valuations, worth an estimated $587 million. The team was estimated to have turned a $30 million profit on the year.

The Trail Blazers' 195 game home sellout streak ended last season as the team missed the playoffs for a second straight year. The team still finished with the NBA's fourth highest attendance at 19,829 per game, but luxury suite sales were a problem with only 30 of 57 all-event suites leased for the season. The team added Moda Health as a naming rights partner in August in a 10-year, $40 million deal. The agreement left only three NBA venues without a corporate name out front: Palace of Auburn Hills, New Orleans Arena and Madison Square Garden.

In 2013, the Blazers ranked No. 15 with an estimated value of $457 million and an estimated annual loss of $10 million. In 2012, the Blazers ranked No. 13 with an estimated value of $370 million.

Here's the intro from Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes.

Profitability was up across the board in the NBA's first full season since the 2011 lockout was settled. Operating income doubled to an average of $23.7 million, the highest since Forbes began calculating NBA valuations in 1998. The new collective bargaining agreement reduced the players' cut of revenues from 57% to 50%. The CBA also boosted revenue sharing from the NBA's haves to have-nots. Only $55 million changed hands under the prior CBA, but low revenue teams were supplemented nearly $120 million last season mainly from the league's top revenue clubs. Close to $200 million is expected to change hands this season based on last season's financials. Former perennial money losers like the Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks and Memphis Grizzlies all turned a profit last season thanks to at least $10 million each in revenue sharing. Overall, only four teams lost money on an operating basis by our count.

Franchise values got a boost from cost controls in the new CBA, as well as the much-anticipated next round of TV contracts. The current pacts with ESPN /ABC and TNT are worth an average of $930 million annually and expire after the 2015-16 season. Most big sports TV rights packages are locked up into the next decade and the NBA is sitting in the catbird seat as the last major opportunity for new sports channels, Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports Network, to make a splash. ESPN is a slam dunk to retain rights to NBA games thanks to the sport's importance to the network and its huge affiliate fees war chest. Speculation is swirling that the NBA might follow the NFL's model and carve out a package for a third rightsholder to spread the wealth and boost the total value of the rights. A deal is expected in the next few months for at least double the current agreement.

Check out Badenhausen's full article (here) and the slideshow list (here).

The top five most valuable teams according to the list: New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets.

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-- Ben Golliver | |Twitter