WNBA Top Ten Salaries | League’s Most Accomplished Players Aja Wilson And Breanna Stewart Don’t Even Make The List

WNBA salaries have been a real sticking point ever since the league debuted in 1997. Following this week’s WNBA draft it became more noise than just chatter.

The four-year contract for No. 1 overall pick Caitlin Clark will be a very modest $338K in totality over the duration of the deal. That averages out to roughly $84,500 per season. When you compare that to a league-minimum NBA contract ($1.1M per season) that’s no money. 

Her eight-figure Nike shoe deal, rumored to be in the $10 million range, will soften the blow of the contract. Others don’t have that luxury.

How Does WNBA Pay Scale Work?

The pay scale difference is based on league revenue popularity. That’s the simplest way to explain the pay disparity, and as the WNBA looks to up their pay with increased revenue in the near future, it still won’t come close to what an NBA player makes. In fact, a max salary in the NBA is about $48 million per season. On the other hand, a WNBA max deal is roughly $240K- $250K per season. 

The top ten highest-paid players in the WNBA would equal somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.25 million which in essence is just a million more than a league minimum contract in the NBA. 

Highest-Paid WNBA Players, Where’s Aja Wilson Or Breanna Stewart?

Over the last six to seven seasons Las Vegas Aces superstar A’ja Wilson and New York Liberty superstar Breanna Stewart have separated themselves as arguably the two best players in the league.

What’s wild is neither is in the top ten for annual salaries. In fact, Stewart ranks 15th and Wilson 17th.

Both players do well off the court, but no way they shouldn’t be in the top ten in salary. That list is led by Wilson’s teammate and 2019 No. 1 overall pick Jackie Young, who signed a two-year extension making her the highest-paid player in the league’s 27-year history at $252,450 per season.

Breanna Stewart and A'ja Wilson have won four of the last five MVP awards but are the 15th and 17th highest-paid WNBA Players

She’s followed by fellow Notre Dame alumna Jewell Loyd, the 2015 No. 1 overall pick, whose salary sits at $245,508 per season. They’re followed by former WNBA Finals MVP Kaleah Copper who signed a two-year extension with Chicago Sky in September but has since been traded.

Dallas Wings star Arike Ogunbowale ($241,984) another former Fighting Irish legend and longtime WNBA player and legend Diana Taurasi round out the top five ($234,936).

A’Ja Wilson Remains An Advocate For Pay Gap Between Men and Women Hoopers

During an appearance on “The View” in February, Wilson, who’s one of the most outspoken players in the league, talked about the how she continually brought up the pay gap during her rookie season in 2018. 

“I felt like I finally used my platform and knew that people were listening and encouraging me to continue to speak out on things that I believe in.”

Top Rookies Don’t Even Rake In $100K In WNBA

As previously stated, Clark the top overall pick, isn’t even making $100K per season to play her first four seasons. But, her fame and popularity will make up for that, she’s rumored to have several deals pending, with some already in place from her time at Iowa via NIL.

Same with Angel Reese the No. 7 overall pick whose NIL valuation was nearly $2 million this past season at LSU. Even better for her is almost all of her deals were outside of the LSU NIL collective, meaning she gets to keep those. 

That leaves us to talk about the other picks who don’t move the meter or aren’t as marketable as those two. They’ll likely be required to head overseas in the offseason to offset the money they’re not making in the WNBA or through endorsements. This will continue to be the trend until the game and product becomes popular enough to change the current revenue status of $60M for the entire league. 

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