What is the average salary of a WNBA player?

The average WNBA salary in 2022 is $128,369 for the season.

What is the average salary of a WNBA player?

Although the average WNBA salary may seem high at $128,369, the highest-paid player in the WNBA in 2021 only made $221,430. Again, you would think that is a high salary, but if you look at the NBA, Stephen Curry has a salary of over $45 million per season. This means his take salary per game is $600,000, that is double the amount the WNBA’s highest paid person gets. If Stephen Curry played half of one game, he would make more than any WNBA player would a whole season.

Average Salary of WNBA Players

Less than 2 years$59,885
More than 2 years$62,774
More than 5 years$228,094

New Contract Will Help to Increase Average Salary of WNBA Players

The WNBA has recently made significant progress in this area. On January 2020, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert and WNBPA president Nneka Ogwumike announced the signing of a new 8 year collective bargaining agreement that raised WNBA league salaries to $130,000 on average and allowed all-stars and superstars to make more than $500,000 in total compensation.

The eight-year deal also includes improved travel arrangements, fully paid maternity leave, and the potential for greater league revenue sharing. According to SBNation, the new deal entitles all players- not just veteran ones- to fly in first class and have their own hotel rooms while on business trips if they are over 6-feet, which most of them are.

Higher Salaries Means Less Workload for WNBA Players

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement was met with enthusiasm by WNBA players. In the past, lower salaries in the league meant that many of its best players had to go play overseas during the offseason to make more money.The continuous work throughout the year is great for exposure, but it takes a toll on one’s body and comes with an increased risk of injury. Some others would also take up another job during the off season helping out at basketball camps, helping to coach youth basketball teams etc. to help increase their salary.

One example of a player playing overseas would be  Breanna Stewart, the 2018 WNBA MVP. Prior to the start of the 2019 WNBA season, she tore her Achilles playing in a Euroleague championship game. Meanwhile, NBA stars such as Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard are sitting out games for “load management” reasons. Meaning they are sitting them out for games they don’t need them for in order to prevent them from playing to many games in a season and risk getting hurt. With the higher salary pay in the NBA, players like that can afford to sit out of games while WNBA players are overloaded and over worked with way less pay.

High Salary Increases Top Talent and Attendance at WNBA Games

National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver said the WNBA lost $12 million in 2018, but that the attendance for many WNBA teams in increasing year over year. If the WNBA wants to recruit and retain top talent, it must first pay its top WBNA selections an attractive salary. Rhyne Howard, NaLyssa Smith, Shakira Austin, and Emily Sngstler will each earn a base salary of $72,141 in 2022’s top four draft picks, which is just over $50,000 under the average WNBA player salary. The typical WNBA salary in 2021 was $120,648, which was up from $75,000 from 2019. The salary cap also increased from $996,100 to $1,339,000 for each WNBA team in 2019.

Women’s sports are currently on a rise, a the highest rise of them all is women’s professional basketball. The increased 49 percent viewership in 2021 is primarily due to the new sponsorships, partnerships and more exposure on ESPN. Not to mention, they had a unique All-Star Game where the WNBA All-Stars took on the USA Women’s National Team and thrilling playoffs. Also during the NBA All-Star weekend, you get some of the WNBA players participating as well which has helped to increase viewership.

Who Are the Highest Paid WNBA Players in 2022?

T1. Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm), $228,094

T1. Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm), $228,094

T1. Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), $228,094

T4. Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics), $227,900

T4. DeWanna Bonner (Connecticut Sun), $227,900

T4. Skylar Diggins-Smith (Phoenix Mercury), $227,900

T4. Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury), $227,900

8. Natasha Howard (New York Liberty), $221,450

9. Tiffany Hayes (Atlanta Dream), $215,000

10. Alyssa Thomas (Connecticut Sun), $206,000