NBA this offseason

Big and small markets around the NBA landscape are distinguished based on various factors that incorporate much more than just the financial aspect. Media attention, exposure, brand value, illustrious history, etc., dictate which team qualifies as an enticing landing spot for unique basketball talents that crave the spotlight.

Basically, it’s a uniform mix of the team’s popularity, television deals, relevance, and media market size, all put together as one. Moreover, the above metric underlines that not all groups get the same opportunities.

The NBA is rapidly rising in the ranks of sports leagues, and along with it comes a flood of attention (attracting a plethora of NBA trade rumours) from all corners of the world. According to Forbes, new arenas, basketball’s global outreach, and local media deals meant that the average NBA team is worth $1.9 billion - a step-up of 13% from last year. Apart from the big market teams, we will discuss here, groups based in Brooklyn (which hosted the latest NBA Draft), Dallas, and Portland all signed major TV deals, while Chicago and San Antonio are in line to do the same next season. Clearly, the league’s wealth runs deeper than just the surface.

#3 Chicago

Home to the historic Chicago Bulls, this is the third largest city in the US - a population of over 2.5 million people craving entertainment - and houses other major sports organizations like the Blackhawks and the Bears. Famous forever for its six titles under the GOAT Michael Jordan, there is no shortage of national popularity for this team even in this day and age as they clocked a top 5 market value of $965M this year.

Just recently, Bulls signed an exclusive multi-year deal with NBC Sports Chicago ending their longtime relationship with WGN-TV for the oncoming 2019-20 season. This deal helps them further spread the word across the large metro area.

Carrying just $18.6 million in cap space this year, the NBA trade rumours have been relatively quiet on the Bulls front. However, with their most recent inclusion of young and exciting talent in the form of Coby White - 7th overall pick in the NBA Draft - things are on an upward curve for this legendary franchise.

#2 Los Angeles

The Lakers suffix is almost synonymous with the city of LA. And why not! Following the lines of the frequent NBA trade rumours, including AD-to-LA, the Lakers fans got what they wanted when the front office decided to sacrifice this year’s NBA draft class for this generational talent. The franchise gave Hollywood stars like Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and their latest priced pearl in LeBron James.

Well, there were doubts about the popularity of this team. In that case, the Lakers brand recorded the highest value in the league at $674M this year, with a total franchise valuation of $3.7 billion - second-best in the NBA. Their local cable deal worth over $100 million is the highest in the sport thus far.

The franchise has paired together two of the most dominant players in the game right now, and according to the latest NBA trade rumours, they are clearing more and more cap space with every passing moment to bring in a third big name. One can only imagine the ceiling of their market numbers once all the pieces are in place.

#1 New York

Despite being a low-key disaster for almost two decades now, the humongous media attention that this team gets, coupled with a vast metro area that roots for them, culminated in a league-best $4 Billion valuation for the Knicks this year. Due to a lack of exceptionally successful history, this team doesn’t hold major national appeal but tends to make up for it via the unparalleled spotlight of Madison Square Garden.

Against significant trade blunders and NBA Draft busts for a prolonged period, this was their fourth straight year of being the most valuable NBA team. Much to the delight of starving NY fans, this year’s NBA Draft got them a promising prospect in RJ Barrett - overall No. 3 pick - who repeatedly expressed the desire to play in the Big Apple. That shows that the city of NY never ceases to be that ideal market with ample media exposure for players born for it.

Big free agent names like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant have been attached to the Knicks according to a fresh batch of NBA trade rumours, and looking at how things are shaping out for New York, their darkest hours might be behind them now. You can check the updated NBA game schedule here.