In last night’s new episode, the Simmons dismantled Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury majority owner Robert Sarver’s decision to sell both teams, following pressure from LeBron James, Chris Paul, NBPA Director Tamika Tremaglio and President CJ McCollum, and behind the scenes (per Simmons), league commissioner Adam Silver and majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets/Chicago Bulls Goat Michael Jordan.
In the process, Simmons has shed some light on what he thinks are the eight most desirable clubs to own, and what the escalating costs of owning these clubs might look like in the short-term future.
The top eight according to Simmons: New York Knicks (yes, so far), Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, and Phoenix Suns. Simmons notes that despite their strong media markets, the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers aren’t making the cut, like the obvious NBA franchises in their cities are.
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Simmons also reiterated the controversy he’s been making for months: his prediction that the league was set to expand to new franchises in Seattle and Las Vegas before long.
Given Phoenix’s proximity to Los Angeles and Northern California, Simmons expects the NBA Premier League club to garner significant interest from big-money buyers in California.
“Phoenix is a rich man Mecca. Great fans, you have a whole history, you have Devin Booker in place. But the important thing – it’s an hour from L.A. and an hour from the Bay Area. You can attract every rich man from those two points and they can fly to be the team owner. That will be the evaluation Much higher than people think. I told you this with the Clippers eight years ago, and I’m telling you now. The Suns will be valued at over $4 billion. Mark my words, you can throw them at me if I’m wrong; I’m not wrong. I think I can That gets close to 5 billion. I think it’s going to be in the $4.5 to $5 billion range… My prediction, I’ll score it. I’ll say, the sun, $4.7 [billion]. “
In the near future, that will be a huge overpayment. But it would also represent something of an investment in the expected future value of the team. Forbes currently expects Suns to be valued at $1.8 billion, while Sportico pegs the team’s value at $1.92 billion.
So where does that leave the Lakers, should the Buss siblings choose to sell? Forbes reports that the Lakers net worth is $5.5 billion this season, a staggering 20% increase over the ill-fated 2021-22 team. Forbes also noted that the club earned $316 million last year. As Simmons notes, the NBA is set to reap the rewards of a lucrative new TV deal during the 2025 season. So, if the Suns could get as much as $3 billion more than their current “value”, would the league’s winning team follow suit in a sale, making Puts them in the $8.5 billion+ range? We may not know for a while, as the Buss family appears to be interested in keeping the club at the moment.