How much do WNBA players make and how do they compare to the NBA?

How much do WNBA players make and how do they compare to the NBA?

Over the past 200 years, women’s rights have been a prevalent issue in American society. The Women’s Rights movement has recently gained attention with the debate over the wage gap. The discrepancies between the NBA and WNBA salaries stand out as one of the most prominent examples of this controversial issue. These have led to the constant question, how much do WNBA players make? How do they compare to the NBA?

How much do WNBA players
WNBA player Angel McCoughtry attends "Night School" Atlanta Red Carpet Screening at Regal Atlantic Station in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Paras Griffin
Source: Getty Images

The Women's National Basketball Association is the women’s counterpart to National Basketball Association, the world's most elite basketball league. Even though WNBA is not quite as popular as the NBA, it is still growing in popularity every year. As a result, the league can be considered the most competitive women's basketball league globally.

WNBA players' salary

How much do WNBA players make? The amount each player varies from one person to another. This is dependent on various factors, such as the contract value and team. Here is a list of the top 15 highest paid WNBA players, their salaries, net worth, and current teams.

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1. Skylar Diggins-Smith

How much do WNBA players make
Skylar Diggins-Smith attends Women's Hoop Launch Basketball Bashment Party With Coach June Ambrose in New York City. Photo: Johnny Nunez
Source: Getty Images
  • Salary: $221,450
  • Net worth: $400,000
  • Team: Phoenix Mercury

How much is the highest paid WNBA player? Skylar is the highest-paid NBA player as of 2022. She joined the league in 2013 after signing with Roc Nation. Over the years, she has established herself as one of the most marketable women in sports.

She has signed several endorsement deals with Nike, Sprint, BODYARMOR, and Rockin’ Refuel. In addition, she has been featured on Vogue and Sports Illustrated.

2. Britney Griner

How much do WNBA players make
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury during the first half in Game Four of the 2021 WNBA semifinals at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo: Christian Petersen
Source: Getty Images
  • Salary: $221,450
  • Net worth: $3 million
  • Team: Phoenix Mercury

Apart from being one of the highest-paid WNBA players, she is famous for her outspokenness regarding her sexuality and support for the LGBTQ community. As a player, she has bagged numerous awards and achievements such as championships, WNBA All-Star selections (six), scoring titles (two), and leading the league in blocks.

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3. DeWanna Bonner

How much do WNBA players
DeWanna Bonner #24 of the Connecticut Sun at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Ronald Martinez
Source: Getty Images
  • Salary: $221,450
  • Net worth: $1.5 million
  • Team: Connecticut Sun

Bonner is one of the highest-paid players with an exciting life away from the pitch. However, she has undergone quite the struggle to balance between her career and parenthood. Luckily, she has a supportive spouse.

4. Elena Delle Donne

How much do WNBA players make
Basketball player Elena Delle Donne poses for a portrait during the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympics shoot in West Hollywood, California. Photo: Harry How
Source: Getty Images
  • Salary: $221,450
  • Net worth: $400,000
  • Team: Washington Mystics

Elena has the highest WNBA salary and several awards in her name. She is a two-time WNBA MVP and a six-time All-Star winner. In addition, she has secured a few well-paying endorsements deals such as DuPont and Nike.

5. Courtney Vandersloot

How much do WNBA players make
Courtney Vandersloot #22 of the Chicago Sky handles the ball during the game against the Los Angeles Sparks at Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Meg Oliphant
Source: Getty Images
  • Salary: $200,000
  • Net worth: $5 million
  • Team: Chicago Sky

Courtney makes quite a high sum of money thanks to all her accomplishments. She has set several records in her career, including being the first player to reach 1000 assists and the most in a single NCAA season.

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Some of her other notable wins include:

  • Most assists in a season
  • Most assists per game in a season
  • Most career assist per game in the WNBA.

6. Candace Parker

How much do WNBA players
Candace Parker #3 of the Chicago Sky walks backcourt during Game Four of the WNBA Finals against the Phoenix Mercury at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Stacy Revere
Source: Getty Images
  • Salary: $195,000
  • Candace Parker net worth: $5 million
  • Team: Chicago Sky

How much does Candace Parker make? She makes around $195,000. She is one of the best players and has played with various teams such as Los Angeles Sparks and Chicago Sky. She is a recipient of several awards and honours, including a two-time WNB champion title.

7. Allie Quigley

How much do WNBA players
Allie Quigley #14 of the Chicago Sky dribbles the ball against the Washington Mystics during the first half at Entertainment & Sports Arena in Washington, DC. Photo: Scott Taetsch
Source: Getty Images
  • Salary: $194,000
  • Net worth: $2 million
  • Team: Chicago Sky

Allie has won the title of one of the best shooters in female basketball. Her career can be defined as nomadic since she plays for the American and European leagues. Some of her major achievements are:

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  • Two-time WNBA All-Star
  • A sixth woman of the year
  • Three-point shootout champion
  • Two-time Turkish cup winner
  • Turkish Super Cup
  • Euro Cup Women

8. Bria Hartley

How much do WNBA players
Bria Hartley #14 of the Phoenix Mercury drives to the basket during the game against the Indiana Fever at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo: Michael Hickey
Source: Getty Images
  • Salary: $190,550
  • Net worth: $2 million
  • Team: Phoenix Mercury

Bria has proven that juggling parenthood and WNBA is manageable despite being challenging. For instance, she took maternity leave in the middle of the 2016 season but luckily, she received half her annual salary during the leave. As a result, she is one of the highest-paid players in the league.

9. Astou Ndour

How much do WNBA players
Astou Ndour of Spain reacts during the Women's EuroBasket 2021 regular season match played between Spain and Montenegro at Fuente de Sant Luis pavilion in Valencia, Spain. Photo: Ivan Terron
Source: Getty Images
  • Salary: $190,550
  • Net worth: $250,000
  • Team: Dallas Wings

Astou is one of the highest-paid women in the basketball sector. She started playing basketball as a young girl in Senegal, West Africa. Upon turning 14, she had to choose between Spain and France, but she chose Spain to gain new experience.

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10. Kristi Toliver

How much do WNBA players
Kristi Toliver #20 of the Los Angeles Sparks reacts during the game against the Atlanta Dream at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Meg Oliphant
Source: Getty Images
  • Salary: $190,550
  • Net worth: $2 million
  • Team: Los Angeles Sparks

Kristi is a basketball player for Los Angeles Sparks. She has a two-time WNBA champion and three-time All-Star making her one of the league’s most dedicated and hardworking players. For her excellence, she was chosen to become an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards in 2018.

11. Courtney Williams

How much do WNBA players
Guard Courtney Williams #10 of the Atlanta Dream reacts against the Dallas Wings in the second half at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington
Source: Getty Images
  • Salary: $190,550
  • Net worth: $200,000
  • Team: Atlanta Dream

Since she joined the league in 2016, Courtney has shown significant promise. She credits her success to her father, who has been encouraging and supportive since she was a small girl.

She was one of the best college players, thus paving the way to joining the WNBA. To date, her father is her greatest motivation, and he is often seen cheering her during games.

12. Breanna Stewart

How much do WNBA players
Breanna Stewart #10 of Team United States bites her gold medal during the Women's Basketball medal ceremony on day sixteen of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games. Photo: Gregory Shamus
Source: Getty Images
  • Salary: $190,550
  • Net worth: $1.4 million
  • Team: Seattle Storm

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Breanna is one of the female players who have stood out on and off the court. Despite experiencing a rough upbringing, she has carved a sustainable career. Some of the titles she has bagged are:

  • Two-time WNBA championships
  • Four-time NCAA championships
  • Two-time WNBA All-Star appearances
  • An Olympic gold medal

With her accomplishments, she earned a lucrative deal with Nike.

13. Jonquel Jones

How much do WNBA players
Jonquel Jones #35 of the Connecticut Sun dribbles the ball against the Washington Mystics during the first half of the game at Entertainment & Sports Arena. Photo: Scott Taetsch
Source: Getty Images
  • Salary: $190,550
  • Net worth: $200,000
  • Team: Connecticut Sun

Originating from the Bahamas, Jones is hyped as the next face of the WNBA. This is not farfetched, as seen in the awards and accomplishments in her name. They include:

  • Most single-season rebounds in WNBA history
  • The most improved player for that year
  • The sixth woman of the year award the next year
  • Two-time WNBA All-Star
  • One-time blocks leader

14. Angel McCoughtry

How much do WNBA players
Angel McCoughtry #35 of the Las Vegas Aces looks to inbound the ball during the first half of Game 3 of the WNBA Finals against the Seattle Storm. Photo: Julio Aguilar
Source: Getty Images
  • Salary: $190,550
  • Net worth: $2 million
  • Team: Las Vegas Aces

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Even though Angel has not taken home any championship, she has earned the legend title for her on and off-field performances. Apart from receiving a considerably high salary, her achievements include:

  • WNBA Rookie of the Year
  • Five-time WNBA All-Star
  • Tow-time WNBA scoring champion
  • Two-time All-WNBA First Team
  • Two Olympic gold medals

15. Shekinna Stricklen

How much do WNBA players
Shekinna Stricklen #40 of the Atlanta Dream looks to pass the ball during the second half of a game against the Washington Mystics. Photo: Julio Aguilar
Source: Getty Images
  • Salary: $175,100
  • Net worth: $1 million
  • Team: Atlanta Dream

Shekinna is the lowest-paid WNBA player. She became a free agent after the 2019 season came to an end. However, she did not stay as a free agent for long since the Atlanta Dream offered her a fantastic two-year contract, thanks to being a fantastic shooter.

Comparison between WNBA and NBA

There is a considerable disparity between WNBA and NBA players' salaries. Compared to WNBA, the NBA has a broader audience and viewership, directly affecting the money accumulated. When the league cannot make that much money, it is automatically not able to pay the players that well also.

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So, why is WNBA pay so low? The difference is brought about by several factors such as revenue, salary and team worth as follows:

Revenue

The NBA generates around 9.2 billion, while the women roughly make around $75 million. Despite the vast difference, the distribution also plays a huge role. For instance, NBA players take home 50% of the total revenue generated while WNBA only takes 20%.

WNBA Vs NBA salary

The highest NBA player makes over 200 times more than the highest-paid WNBA. While Stephen Curry bags around $43 million per season, Skylar Diggins only makes $221,450 while Liz Cambage's salary is $221,450. The average NBA salary is $7 million, with the WNBA salary being only $80,000.

Team worth

The NBA's team's worth is roughly $2.2 billion, while the WNBA is nothing close to that. Even though the value is not publicly known, it is estimated to be less than $50 million. Therefore, this translates to lower WNBA contracts and subsequently low pay.

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How much do WNBA players make and how do they compare to the NBA have been a point of concern for many basketball fans all over the world. The WNBA salaries are far much lower compared to their NBA counterparts. However, it is possible to alleviate this huge gap with a few changes.

Yen.com.gh shared an interesting article about the richest footballers in the world in 2021. Although weekly wages are the primary source of wealth for footballers, many of them make money from endorsements and other business interests. Many also receive wages playing for their countries, although the amount is incomparable to how much they earn from clubs.

Footballers' salaries have been on the rise in the past few years. As the sport grows both in the fanbase and revenue collection, players' salaries are revised upwards. This is why modern footballers are wealthier than the greats who plied their trade a couple of years ago.

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