Where Memphis Ranks Among Most Desirable NBA Free Agency Destinations

Where Memphis Ranks Among Most Desirable NBA Free Agency Destinations
Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

Few NBA franchises have turned the tide of their history the way that the Memphis Grizzlies have over the last three years.  

Thanks to the arrival of superstar guard Ja Morant in the 2019 NBA Draft and a series of well-timed free agent signings and trades, the Grizzlies have posted consecutive 50-win seasons. But with an early playoff exit and Morant suspended again to start next season, can the Grzzlies attract more play-makers in the offseason?

With NBA free agency fully underway, BetTennessee.com, your home to everything Tennessee sports betting, compiled a system to determine the most desirable free agent destinations within the league using a series of metrics.

We compiled data on state tax burdens (data from WalletHub), media market ranking (data from USTVDB.com, via Nielsen’s 2022-2023 DMA rankings), city popularity (World'sBestCities.com, via Resonance Consultancy), as well as attendance rankings since the 2018-19 season ( ESPN.com), winning percentage since the 2019-20 season (Basketball-Reference.com) and 2024 NBA Championship Odds (SportsOddsHistory.com) to construct an aggregate ranking.

Toronto was not included on the list as we utilized US data only. We did not include attendance data from the 2020-21 NBA season, as COVID protocols varied across the league. For Washington D.C.’s state tax income, we utilized data from nearby Virginia. 2024 NBA Championship odds are up to date as of July 5, 2023.

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Most Desirable NBA Cities

RankCityCity Aggregate RankTeam Aggregate RankTotal Aggregate Rank
1Philadelphia9.673.676.67
2Miami9.6767.83
3Boston1348.5
4LA (Lakers)1099.5
5LA (Clippers)109.339.67
6Dallas11910
7Denver15.67510.33
8San Francisco13.678.3311
9New York1014.6712.33
10Phoenix13.671212.83
T-11Brooklyn1016.6713.33
T-11Chicago11.671513.33
13Atlanta8.672114.83
14Portland16.3313.6715
15Milwaukee24.336.3315.33
16Houston10.332216.17
17Salt Lake City201316.5
18Orlando11.6722.6717.17
19Memphis19.3315.3317.33
20Washington DC11.3323.6717.5
21Cleveland221418
22Oklahoma City2011.6718.67
23San Antonio19.671919.33
24Detroit13.6725.3319.5
25Sacramento22.331719.67
26New Orleans20.3319.3319.83
27Minneapolis19.672120.33
28Charlotte17.3323.6720.5
29Indianapolis23.3322.3322.83

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Where Memphis Ranks Among NBA Free Agent Markets

The Grizzlies’ recent run on the court was not enough to overcome Memphis’ structural defaults and the franchise’s previous struggles, ultimately dooming the city to the No. 19 spot in our rankings with a total aggregate rank of 17.33.  (Fortunately, the team's title hopes are more promising as Memphis is No. 11 at FanDuel Tennessee to win next season's NBA title.)

Memphis’ city score of 19.33 was the eighth highest in the league, coming in just ahead of San Antonio and Minneapolis (19.67), as well as Salt Lake City and Oklahoma City (20 apiece).  

The Grizzlies’ team score of 15.33 ranked ahead of 12 other NBA teams that were surveyed, netting the city a total score of 17.33 and the 19th spot on our leaderboard.  

The top five leaguewide free agent markets in terms of total aggregate rank were Philadelphia (6.67), Miami (7.83), Boston (8.5), the Los Angeles Lakers (9.5) and Los Angeles Clippers (9.67).  

Conversely, the bottom five markets leaguewide for free agents were Sacramento (19.67), New Orleans (19.83), Minneapolis (20.33), Charlotte (20.5) and Indianapolis (22.83).  

Keep it here for more Grizzlies coverage to help you make informed decisions on Tennessee sportsbook apps.

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Author

Christopher Boan writes for BetTennessee.com and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.