Why $2B Clippers deal makes this stock a buy: Pro

Market master's top three picks

With $9 billion in assets under management, Ariel Investments has recently been buying more shares of its favorite stocks, CEO and Chief Investment Officer John Rogers told CNBC on Thursday.

One of those names is Madison Square Garden.

"This recent $2 billion deal with the Clippers really makes us feel like Madison Square Garden is worth more than ever, and of course their New York Knicks and New York Rangers are probably much more valuable than people really had anticipated," said Rogers, who joined "Squawk Box" from the 26th-annual Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago.

Madison Square Garden's billion dollar makeover.
Rebecca Taylor | MSG Photos

The television deals of MSG are "extraordinarily valuable" and will be "more and more valuable over time," as the demand for sports programming increases, he said.

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Another stock Rogers is betting on is Bally Technologies, a leading maker of slot machines.

"They also bought Shuffle Master," he said, which makes "fancy shuffle systems" needed for more complex table games. They can also be used to more traditional games like blackjack.

Rogers said he has owned the slot machine manufacturers and the casinos "off-and-on for more than 20 years."

A third stock he likes is Bristow, "the major company in the industry providing helicopters to get people out to where the deep wells are drilled in oceans around the world."

With many of the problems around the world, companies related to oil and gas industry are "very, very valuable," Rogers added.

Bristow is also big in search and rescue, he pointed out.

On an annualized basis, the flagship Ariel Fund, with $2 billion under management, returned nearly 24 percent over one year, more than 30 percent over five years, and 7.37 percent over 10 years, according to Morningstar.

The fund largely matched the in its one- and 10-year track record. But it was 9 percent higher in the five-year column.

—By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere