Where Miami & Orlando Rank Among Most Desirable NBA Free Agency Destinations

Where Miami & Orlando Rank Among Most Desirable NBA Free Agency Destinations
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

Now that the NBA Finals and the draft have come and gone, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of where the league’s best players will suit up next year, via the free agency market.  

With 30 teams spread out across the Lower 48 and Ontario, there’s no shortage of options for professional basketball players to choose from when it comes to the city that best fits their needs.  

With NBA Free Agency underway, FloridaBet.com took a break from Florida sports betting updates and compiled a system to determine the most desirable destinations within the league using a series of metrics. 

Most Desirable NBA Cities

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. 

RankCityCity Aggregate RankTeam Aggregate RankTotal Aggregate Rank
4LA (Lakers)1099.5
5LA (Clippers)109.339.67
8San Francisco13.678.3311
9New York1014.6712.33
17Salt Lake City201316.5
20Washington DC11.3323.6717.5
22Oklahoma City2011.6718.67
23San Antonio19.671919.33
26New Orleans20.3319.3319.83

Miami Among Most Desirable NBA Free Agency Markets

The Sunshine State’s crème de la crème when it comes to free agent meccas is its most stylish city, as Miami comes in at No. 2 leaguewide, behind Philadelphia.  

The city’s aggregate score of 9.67 and team score of 6 netted Miami a total aggregate rank of 7.83 — coming in just behind Philly’s total of 6.67.  

The differentiator for Philly, compared to Miami, was the city’s team aggregate rank of 3.67 (to Miami’s 6), which netted the City of Brotherly Love the top spot in our metrics.  

Miami beat out other top-five markets, such as Boston (8.5 total aggregate rank) and Los Angeles (which we split in two for the Clippers and Lakers, with total aggregate ranks of 9.5 and 9.67).  

Orlando Fares Poorly In NBA Free Agent Rankings

The city that gave us Disney World and a host of other amusement parks didn’t fare nearly as well as their southerly neighbors, with Orlando finishing 18th in our NBA free agent rankings with a total aggregate score of 17.17.  

The city was ultimately tanked by the Magic’s team score of 22.67, which tanked the city’s score of 11.67 (which was well ahead of No. 17 Salt Lake City’s 20 and No. 15 Milwaukee’s 24.33 scores).  

Ultimately, Orlando’s .466 all-time winning percentage, zero NBA titles, and zero trips past the first round of the playoffs since 2010 doomed it to the lower half of the league’s free-agent standings.  

At least the Magic’s hometown can say they are in better shape than the league’s bottom five Sacramento (19.67 aggregate scores), New Orleans (19.83), Minneapolis (20.33), Charlotte (20.5), and Indianapolis (22.83).  

Get ahead of the game and read up on all of the best Florida sportsbook apps expected to hit the Sunshine State once sports betting is legalized. 



Christopher Boan writes for FloridaBet.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.

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