A perfect storm could lead to the Houston Rockets becoming the most expensive North American sports franchise ever

After the Houston Rockets’ busy offseason that included a record contract for James Harden, a trade for Chris Paul, and nearing a trade for Carmelo Anthony, the team announced this week that it is now for sale. While the move comes as a surprise, there is also a perfect storm that could make the Rockets the most expensive team in North American sports history.

The most recent franchise valuations for the NBA released by Forbes says the Rockets are worth $US1.65 billion. However, as Kevin Draper of the New York Times notes, there are reasons to believe that the Rockets could eventually the North American record $US2.0 billion price tags paid for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Clippers.

From Draper:

“The sale of the Rockets — a stable franchise with two superstars that is coming off a successful season — could be the perfect storm for a record sale in the league. The N.B.A. is already awash with a gushing stream of revenue, and the Rockets are in the country’s fourth-most populated city and have a huge toehold in China, as well.”

Whatever the Rockets eventually sell for, it is going to be a huge profit for owner Leslie Alexander, who purchased the team for just $US85 million prior to the 1993-94 season. Here is how much the value of the team has risen compared to the average NBA franchise.