The WNBA has been on the rise for several years now, growing in both viewership and revenue. 

In 2020, the WNBPA even managed to strike a new agreement with the league that effectively tripled the maximum compensation that could be earned by its top players.

Running until 2027, the relatively new parameters for salaries and compensation have allowed for a significant increase in earnings, which many of the WNBA’s stars have been able to capitalize on. 

Here’s how much the highest-paid WNBA players gets, the average WNBA salary, and how the league squares up to its male counterpart, the NBA.

What is the Average WNBA Salary?

The average WNBA salary is $116,58 per season, which sits a little under $40,000 below the exact centre of the minimum and maximum salaries of the league. 

In the WNBA, every player can expect to earn a salary of at least $60,471, while the highest earners are looking at a base WNBA salary of $252,450 this season.

For rookies, the pay scale slides a bit lower, as you’d expect. The top four picks get salaries of $72,141, the next four sign deals for $69,224, and those drafted in the third round or sign after going undrafted get $60,471. 

This puts the average salary of the maximum number of rookies drafted in one WNBA offseason at $64,361 between the 36 rookie draft picks.

What is the Highest WNBA Salary?

Having won the Commissioners’ Cup in 2022, Jackie Young (Las Vegas Aces) set a new bar with her two-year deal to land the highest WNBA salary of $252,450 per season. 

Showcasing the value placed on the best guards in the game, Young is followed by four more guards to round out the top five highest WNBA salaries.

Jewell Loyd ($245,508), Kahleah Copper ($245,059), Arike Ogunbowale ($241,984), and Diana Taurasi ($234,936) join Young as the highest-earning WNBA players in terms of average salary for the 2024 season. 

While there has been a lot of progress in this regard, it pales in comparison to the pay in the NBA.

This season, while on the hunt for another title with the +1400 Warriors in the NBA odds, Stephen Curry will earn $51.9 million. 

How Do WNBA Salaries Compare to the NBA?

Simply put: WNBA salaries don’t compare to the NBA. For the 2022/23 season, NBA average salaries clocked in at 10.8 million. In the WNBA, salaries averaged $116,000. 

Jackie Young made waves with her $253,450 average WNBA salary, but even though he sits out at +2500 in the Defensive Player of the Years odds this season, Giannis Antetokounmpo will still collect an average salary of $45.6 million on his deal. 

The favourite at +140, Rudy Gobert, takes an average annual salary of $41 million following his five-year deal with the Utah Jazz, which expires in 2025/26 if the player option isn’t taken.

Top of the pay sheet in the NBA right now is Nikola Jokić. The center stands to make an average salary of $55,224,526 across his five-year deal with the Denver Nuggets. 

If all 12 of the players on all 12 teams in the WNBA were paid the same salary as the highest-paid WNBA player, Jackie Young, at $252,450, the league would be paying an annual salary totalling $36,352,800. 

The WNBA is moving in the right direction regarding its salaries, but the top-earning Jackie Young is still only earning around 2.34 percent of the average NBA salary.

*Credit for all images in this article belongs to Alamy*

Ben is very much a sports nerd, being obsessed with statistical deep dives and the numbers behind the results and performances.

Top of the agenda are hockey, soccer, and boxing, but there's always time for the NFL, cricket, Formula One, and a bit of mixed martial arts.