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Forbes ranks Lakers as the NBA's most valuable team

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This hardly assuages Laker fans concerned about the team's championship chances, its horrific offense or if they'll beat the Clippers in Wednesday night's game at Staples Center.

But at least the bean counters are happy. Forbes.com, in their annual rankings, listed the Lakers as the NBA's most valuable franchise, at $900 million, a 40% increase from last year. The reason: the Lakers' 20-year cable deal with Time Warner believed to be worth about $200 million per season. That put the Lakers at the No. 1 spot, ahead of the New York Knicks ($780 million) and Chicago Bulls ($600 million).

Of course, whether the higher valuation actually helps the Lakers to secure additional talent is uncertain. The Lakers currently have an $85.46 million payroll and are significantly above last season's salary cap of $58.044 million. The Lakers have long-term contracts with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Derek Fisher and Metta World Peace. And aside from their Big Three in Bryant, Gasol and Bynum, they hardly have any tradeable assets.

But at least this is a reminder that, amid the doom and gloom, the Lakers remain relevant. 

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--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

 
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