NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Knicks have not won a championship in nearly 40 years but they are the most valuable team in the National Basketball Association with an estimated worth of $655 million, according to latest Forbes valuations of the NBA's 30 teams.

The average NBA team is worth $369 million, Forbes said. That was up 1 percent from last year, but below the peak of $379 million seen two years ago.

The reigning NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers were the second most valuable team at $643 million, with the Chicago Bulls, former home of Michael Jordan, third at $511 million.

Rounding out the top five were the storied Boston Celtics at $452 million and the Houston Rockets at $443 million.

The loss of superstar LeBron James caused the value of the Cleveland Cavaliers to plummet 26 percent to $355 million, Forbes said.

His new team, the Miami Heat, moved up to seventh place on the Forbes valuation list at $425 million.

(Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Gary Hill)