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Timberwolves show 38 percent increase in NBA valuation, Forbes says

Target Center in Minneapolis is shown during a Feb. 4 game. Jeffrey Becker / USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ valuation increased 38 percent, second behind the 48 percent increase of the Philadelphia 76ers, and was 27th among the 30 NBA teams at $1.06 billion, according to an annual list published by Forbes on Wednesday.

The New York Knicks are the NBA's most valuable team for a third consecutive year, the list said, and each team in the league is worth at least $1 billion for the first time.

The Knicks have been shut out of the playoffs since 2013 but their value rose to $3.6 billion, up 9 percent from a year ago, due to renovations to Madison Square Garden which produced new revenue opportunities from sponsorships and seating.

The Los Angeles Lakers ($3.3 billion), reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors ($3.1 billion), Chicago Bulls ($2.6 billion) and Boston Celtics ($2.5 billion) rounded out the top five, Forbes said in a statement.

According to Forbes, the average NBA franchise is now worth a record $1.65 billion, up 22 percent over last year, and more than triple the figure of five years ago.

Forbes said the Cleveland Cavaliers, ranked 15th on the list with a value of $1.3 billion, were the only franchise to lose money on an operating basis due to its significant payroll and luxury tax bill.

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