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Hornets worth $725 million: Forbes

Forbes has released their annual NBA team valuations, and the Hornets' ranking may surprise you.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Hornets are worth $725 million, up 77 percent from last year, according to Forbes.

Every year, Forbes releases a list of NBA teams' values. How they get this data is unclear, but it's still informative. This year, NBA teams are worth an average of $1.1 billion, up 74 percent from last year's figures. Forbes attributes this to the lucrative new TV deal the NBA signed in October, and it doesn't hurt that viewership is up 26 percent from the 2002-03 season.

The Hornets fall well short of the league average, and are ranked as the 26th most valuable (or fifth least valuable, if that's your thing) franchise in the NBA. Still, the franchise is increasing in value, and Forbes makes note of the Hornets' local TV ratings going up 33 percent, in large part because of a stellar rebrand and making the playoffs last year.

The Hornets bring in $130 million in revenue according to Forbes, and have an operating income of just $1.2 million. These are interesting figures, especially when you look at the team's payroll. The Hornets are on the books for $64.1 million this season, which puts them just over the cap. They're still more than $10 million away from the luxury tax threshold, though.

The Hornets are fiscally responsible, and perhaps even frugal. However, it's important to note that Forbes' figures could be off. It's unlikely they have the whole picture.

The team has taken some serious financial steps in recent years, including signing Al Jefferson to a three-year, $40.5 million contract a couple years ago and extending Kemba Walker's contract by four years and $48 million. This season will likely have a heavy influence on the team's future. If they happen to miss the playoffs and the Lance Stephenson signing doesn't pan out, they may take a step back and re-evaluate their position.

What do you think of the Forbes report?