On the court, 2014 wasn't the best year for the Timberwolves losing its star player and failing to make the playoffs for the tenth straight season, but off the court the team saw its value jump 45 percent, according to a recent survey from Forbes Magazine.
Forbes notes the Timberwolves value jumped 45 percent last year, increasing from $430 million to $625 million in 2015.
While that seems to be a staggering increase though, Minnesota didn't even keep pace with the average value of an NBA franchise, which according to the report now stands at $1.1 billion – 74 percent more than in 2014.
The report cites a new TV contract, a nearly six-year bull market in equities and cheap credit for driving the biggest one-year gain since Forbes began valuing teams in the four major U.S. sports in 1998.
So what does it all mean for the Timberwolves?
The Forbes report found at $625 million, the Timberwolves are the 29th most valuable franchise in the NBA – ranking only ahead of Milwaukee.
The 10 most valuable NBA franchises on the Forbes list are:
- Los Angeles Lakers $2.6 billion
- New York Knicks $2.5 billion
- Chicago Bulls $2 billion
- Boston Celtics $1.7 billion
- Los Angeles Clippers $1.6 billion
- Brooklyn Nets $1.5 billion
- Golden State Warriors $1.3 billion
- Houston Rockets $1.25 billion
- Miami Heat $1.175 billion
- Dallas Mavericks $1.15 billion
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal notes the Wolves, who are currently last in the NBA in attendance for 2014-15, dropped from 26th in the NBA last season when they were worth $430 million to 29th this season, despite the nearly $200 million jump in team value.
That slip is even more amazing when you look at just how much the value of the Timberwolves has grown in recent years.
According to the Star Tribune, for most of the mid-to-late 2000s, the Wolves were around the $300 million value mark. That dipped to $264 million in 2011 and barely bumped up in value in 2012 to $272 million.
But from there, the team's value jumped to $364 million in 2013, $430 million in 2014 and now to $625 million – a 130 percent increase in just three years.