LOS ANGELES — The Jazz are the NBA's 15th most-valuable team at $343 million, according to figures reported Wednesday by Forbes magazine.

That's down four percent from last season's valuation of $352 million, but still well more than $100 million higher than their 2000 valuation of $226 million.

Yet the Jazz, Forbes reported, aren't among the 12 NBA teams — Dallas, Portland, Orlando, Atlanta, Sacramento, Indiana, Charlotte, New Jersey, Minnesota, New Orleans, Memphis and Milwaukee — that lost money during the past 12 months.

Franchise value — according to a formula used annually by the magazine — involves four factors, including revenue shared among all NBA teams ($115 million for the Jazz), city/market size ($112 million), arena value ($77 million) and brand management ($39 million).

Forbes also has the Jazz's revenue last season at $118 million, their gate receipts at $42 million and their operating income — earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization — at $7.9 million.

Season ticket renewal rate for the Jazz according to the magazine was 76 percent, down from the prior year's 91 percent — yet still high enough to rate 10th in the league and above the NBA average of 71 percent.

The Los Angeles Lakers — Utah's opponent Wednesday, and again at home Saturday — are the NBA's most valuable team at $607 million, up four percent, according to Forbes.

The New York Knicks are second at $586 million, a four percent drop and down from their previous perch of No. 1.

Chicago ($511 million), Detroit ($479 million) and Cleveland ($476 million) complete the top five, Portland's value increased the most (by 10 percent), Sacramento's and Memphis' decreased the most (by 13 percent), league average was $367 million (down four percent) and Milwaukee was least valuable at $254 million.

SHOOTER NEEDED: The Jazz have one of their sharpshooters back in C.J. Miles, who on Wednesday played his fourth straight game since preseason thumb surgery.

But they're still waiting on another, Kyle Korver, who's missed all 21 games this season due to arthroscopic knee surgery.

"He's our best shooter, and when he's on the floor people have to respect him," point guard Deron Williams said of Korver. "They can't help off him, you know? They can — if they want to get burned. So, we need him to get back out here.

"It's hard, especially because we thought he was gonna be back a lot sooner," Williams added. "We expected to have him back before C.J. (Miles). So, I know it's been tough on him. He's been working hard to get back. It just hasn't worked out like he hoped."

HE SAID IT: Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, asked about plans by ex-Jazz shooting guard and first-round draft choice Morris Almond — out of the NBA after two years in Utah — to join the NBA Development League's Springfield Armor:

"I like Mo. I just think if he's gonna play in the D-League, wherever he's gonna play, he's just got to work at it. I mean, you can't just lay your body out on the floor and think what you've done in the past is gonna (give) you an opportunity to play.

"He's got enough skills to play at this level. ... But there's certainly a lot more to playing basketball than shooting it a lot. I mean, learn how to be a good teammate. Pass the ball to your teammate once in a while. And then run the floor on the defensive end. Those are some of the things I think he had a little problem with, and probably hurt him with some of the things he's tried to be with."

Almond — who had two 50-plus point games when the Jazz had him assigned to the D-League's Utah Flash — appeared in just 34 games for the Jazz, including 25 last season.

He also played for New York's 2009 summer-league team and was in training camp this fall with Orlando, but neither team kept him.

The Massachusetts-based Armor are affiliated with New York, Philadelphia and New Jersey.

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Tweeted Almond on Tuesday: "Just picked up five new sets of Fruit Of The Loom 100% cotton knit thermals. Tops AND bottoms. I'm good for the rest of the winter."

TOYS FOR TOTS: The Jazz will host Toys for Tots collections tonight and Saturday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

Fans are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys or make a cash donation, and the first 2,000 to do so receive a ticket voucher to a 2010 Salt Lake Bees minor-league baseball game.

e-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com