NBA franchise market strength indicators (Data)

Judging the strength of an NBA market is a more complicated task than our casual use of the term “big market” often suggests. The following is a table that allows you to compare the relative strength of every NBA team when it comes to some (but not all) of the major factors that determine market strength for NBA clubs.

Most headings are self-explanatory, but “Swag Factor” certainly is not. This ranking (subjectively) takes into account many of the factors that attract NBA players to a certain market, but are not exactly quantifiable. Factors such as: weather, tax law, nightlife, franchise tradition, culture and lifestyle (eg- Houston happens to house one of the greatest concentration of NBA talent in the summer), health of the organization, team facilities, proximity to the beach, and other factors that would entice the typical twenty-something millionaire professional basketball player (or anyone else, for that matter) to live in a city.

Lest you think the Swag Factor rankings are completely subjective, I did clear them with bloggers from around TrueHoop Network.

To calculate the Total Market Rank, I added the rankings from the other columns (excluding the team win rankings at the far right of the table). In doing so, these data assume that a strong NBA market would include: a large TV market (important for player sponsorships, legacy), an excessively wealthy owner who spends heavily on players, fans who will pay to fill up an arena, and access to a lifestyle befitting a young millionaire.

Note that a team’s on-court success if only tangentially factored into these rankings. However, also included are rankings of how each team has fared over the past five and ten seasons, for comparison against the market factors to the left.

The franchise/market with the lowest total of combined rankings, and thus the best market in the NBA, was Dallas; the worst was Sacramento. Over the last ten years, the Mavericks have been the 6th most successful playoff team, while the Kings have been the eleventh. However, it’s the weak-market Kings that are on the brink of relocation.

Perhaps certain factors should be weighted more heavily than others (TV market size is not as accurate as measure as revenue earned from TV deals, corporate sponsors, etc), but I’ll leave that for you to debate in the comments.

NBA Franchise Market Strength Indicator Rankings

FranchiseTotal Market ScoreFranchise ValueOwner Net Worth Team SalaryMedia MarketAttend. %Swag Factor5 yr Avg. Reg Season Wins5 yr Avg. Post Season Wins10 yr Avg. Reg Season Wins10 yr Avg. Post Season Wins
Mavericks16838141825
Lakers221713815232
Knicks31131517329292628
Celtics44184106611484
Magic5116220411761010
Heat6732017521410169
Trail Blazers714192231315201525
Bulls83232652513132420
Rockets95276131671012717
Warriors101219169131028182327
Nets112122422982315186
Suns12816191514184747
Clippers13221229415925172826
Raptors141022116202217232222
Hawks152321711241616143023
76ers161720127301218211712
Pistons17134171428239553
Spurs18928132712142111
Jazz191614525113069613
Nuggets20209181918198111218
Cavaliers2115152718102433118
Wizards2219262312221521192524
Bobcats2325112123192522262930
Thunder241829252892124242021
Grizzles252810829232626272729
Timberwolves262972816272030302119
Hornets2726301430171712161415
Pacers282752224262719251314
Bucks2930241026212820221916
Kings302425302125292728911

Here are the raw data that produced the rankings above. You can see that a simple ranking system does not account for the exponential discrepancies between teams in categories like Owner Net Worth or Media Market size.

NBA Franchise Market Strength Indicators Raw Data

FranchiseTotal Market ScoreFranchise Value ($mil)Owner Net Worth ($mil)Team Salary ($mil)Media Market (mil TVs)Attend. %Swag Factor5 yr Avg. Reg Season Wins5 yr Avg. Post Season Wins10 yr Avg. Reg Season Wins10 yr Avg. Post Season Wins
Mavericks1438180087.92.5104.1456.64.656.34.4
Lakers264338091.65.799.71531051.98.9
Knicks365549467.17.499.7328032.70.2
Celtics445236082.12.41006477.644.55.5
Magic5385340089.11.46102.411495.643.13.3
Heat6425580065.41.54100.8240.2441.33.7
Trail Blazers73562000070.11.2102.51339.60.841.50.7
Bulls851128054.53.5103.15412.434.11.2
Rockets94438073.52.189.1747.22.444.81.6
Warriors1036332566.92.5951029.21.235.80.6
Nets113121950059.17.470.98342.238.64.4
Suns1241140065.71.8594.718545.449.24.3
Clippers13305500525.790.5931.61.4320.7
Raptors1439929769.53832237.60.636.71.1
Hawks1529530070.92.36781638.62.230.21.1
76ers1633031069.42.969.41236.20.840.42.5
Pistons17360350065.91.973.52349648.57.3
Spurs1840480690.8297.7145610.657.210.3
Jazz19343480740.92983049445.72.4
Nuggets20316180065.91.586.319492.842.11.6
Cavaliers2135547853.31.5298.524548.442.34.2
Wizards2232218059.32.379.91534.2133.40.9
Bobcats2328152565.051.183.12534031.30
Thunder2432955.40.6999.62131.80.637.71.1
Grizzles2526685070.80.6778.42631.4032.60
Timberwolves26264210053.11.774.52025.2037.61.3
Hornets2728068.40.686.51743.81.641.52.3
Pacers28269350064.41.174.627360.441.62.4
Bucks2925827969.60.981.92834.80.8381.7
Kings30293200441.477.92931.4043.72.5

*The Hornets (owned by the NBA) and Thunder (undisclosed amount) do not have data for “Owner Net Worth.”

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References:

Nielson Ratings

Team Salaries (HoopsHype)

Owner/Franchise Worth (HoopsHype)

Attendance (ESPN)

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