Where Atlanta Ranks Among Most Desirable NBA Free Agency Destinations

Where Atlanta Ranks Among Most Desirable NBA Free Agency Destinations
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

Few cities share the longtime bond with professional basketball that the city of Atlanta does, with the Hawks calling the region home since 1968 and some of the best players in the sport’s history hailing from the Peach State.  

As NBA Free Agency gets underway, BetGeorgia.com paused Georgia 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

Atlanta In Middle of the NBA’s Free Agency Pack

Thanks to the Hawks’ lack of success since arriving in Atlanta seven decades ago, the city lacks the standing of other metropolises in attracting free agent talent.  

Overall, the city of Atlanta and the Hawks finished with scores of 8.67 (1st overall) and 21 (T-24th overall) end up with the 13th spot leaguewide, sandwiched between Brooklyn and Chicago (11th overall) and No. 14 Portland.  

The two cities that tied for the spot above Atlanta had a total score of 13.33 apiece, while Atlanta finished at 14.83 and Portland at 15.  

The top five leaguewide free agent markets were Philadelphia (6.67 total aggregate rank), 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).  

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



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

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