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Boston Celtics are worth $1.7 billion

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The Boston Celtics are the 4th most valuable franchise in the NBA, according to a report by Forbes.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Who says there is no value in having a losing team? We beg to differ after this Forbes report revealed that the Boston Celtics are the fourth most valuable franchise in the NBA - valued at a whopping $1.7 billion dollars. That's a 94 percent increase from last year and slightly more than the value of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise that was recently purchased for a cool $2 billion.

NBA owners can thank Steve Ballmer's league-record purchase for increasing the value of their franchises. The franchise values of NBA teams rose by an average of 72 percent in the past year, according to estimates by Forbes. That's the largest one-year gain since Forbes started estimating team values in 1998.

Based on these estimates, Ballmer may have slightly overpaid for the Clippers, but if franchise values continue to soar then it may someday look like a bargain. There are already three teams worth at least $2 billion, led by the Los Angeles Lakers at $2.6 billion.

NBA Franchise Values

The Clippers sale isn't the only thing driving the escalating values of NBA franchises. Last October the league announced a new TV deal worth $2.66 billion a year. That 186 percent increase over the current TV deal means a lot more money to spread around. It's no wonder that rich guys are eager to buy into this growing cash cow, which is pushing the value of these franchises to unprecedented levels.

It's safe to say that Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck isn't planning to sell the team anytime soon, but if he were to entertain the idea he would fetch a significant profit from the $360 million he purchased the team for back in 2002. Despite the current dismal state the team finds itself in during it's latest rebuilding project, the Celtics still reside in a strong market and are one of the most storied franchises in the league.

Can you put a price on a franchise with 17 championship banners hanging from their rafters? Forbes just did - but it's a bit out of my price range.