The big news from Forbes' annual team valuation list was that the New York Knicks, priced at $3 billion, have officially jumped back to the top of the heap in terms of market value. In Philadelphia 76ers world, things have mostly stayed the same, with the financial prognosticators estimating their value at the same $700 million they clocked in at last year.
Sliding back in the overall rankings from 27 to 28, that number still represents a significant rise from when Josh Harris and Co. purchased the team in July 2011. Assuming that market value would hold up, the oft-maligned hedge fund guys could turn a $420 million profit if they decided to part with the franchise in the near future.
It's safe to assume the value will rise along with the development of their best players, however. The NBA's new TV rights deal kicks in during the upcoming offseason, which will be a boon not just for the Sixers but for all 30 NBA franchises. That leaguewide boost will coincide with Sixers-specific kickers, namely their (hopeful) improvement on the court as talent continues to grow, and the eventual completion of their state-of-the-art practice facility.
Forbes paints a glum picture of the Sixers from a salesman's perspective:
Ratings on CSN Philadelphia fell 25% last year and were second lowest in the league, ahead of only the Nets. Attendance was a league-worst 13,940 per game. The 76ers are in the middle of an embarrassing spat with Wells Fargo, which holds the naming rights to the team's home. The banking giant refused to sponsor the team, so the team stopped using the name in press releases and severely shrunk the logo on the court.
Relative to their market size, the Sixers will probably always lag behind in franchise valuations thanks to a poor local TV deal and their status as tenants in their home arena. Neither of those problems are likely to be fixed in the near future, but they can at least be offset by several boons expected down the pipeline.
In any case, much like their on-court fortunes, Forbes isn't seeing tide-changing progress for the Sixers yet. Better luck next year, fellas. At least they're better than Milwaukee!