20 Highest Paid WNBA Players | 2022

The WNBA is the women’s version of the NBA, which is the world’s top basketball league. Although the WNBA is not as well-known as the NBA, it continues to rise in popularity year after year.

The league is widely regarded as the world’s most competitive women’s basketball competition. The WNBA, on the other hand, pays its players less than the NBA. Mostly because it isn’t very well-known yet.

Another explanation could be that the NBA makes significantly more revenue than the WNBA, which is still far behind.

Putting that aside, the WNBA is still one of the highest-paid professional sports leagues for women in the world.

Let’s take a look at the top 20 highest-paid WNBA players and their net worth.
 

What is WNBA?

The WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) is an American professional basketball league.

There are presently twelve clubs in the league. The league began to play in 1997 after being created on April 22, 1996, as the women’s counterpart to the National Basketball Association (NBA).

The regular season runs from May to September, with the All-Star game taking place in July (except in Olympic years) and the WNBA Finals taking place at the end of September and into early October.

Do WNBA players make a lot of money?

Unlike their NBA counterparts, most WNBA players do not have the financial means to spend their offseasons traveling around the world on lavish trips.

Prior to the 2020 season, the WNBA and the players union reached an agreement on an eight-year collective bargaining agreement that will run until the 2027 season.

The contract stipulates that the league’s top players will eventually earn more than $500,000 per year, with the average salary reaching $130,000.

How to become a WNBA player

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is a potential option for women who want to play professional basketball.

However, according to the Georgia Career Information Center, just 1% of female college basketball players progress to professional women’s basketball.

Develop your basketball talents as much as possible, both as a member of a team and on your own.

Your ability to play a sport well will be a key aspect in your ability to play professionally in any sport. Ball control, passing, and shooting are all required abilities.

Inquire about tips on how to enhance your game. Your existing coach and teammates will be able to see which aspects of your game are lacking and need to be improved.

In addition to improving basketball skills, do some physical conditioning many times a week. Professional female basketball players are exceptional athletes as well as basketball players.

To increase physical abilities, both strength training and plyometrics should be used.

Play basketball on a varsity team at a college or university. All American players must either obtain a four-year degree or wait four years after graduating from high school to play in the WNBA.

According to the Georgia Career Information Center, 1 percent of players who earn a college degree go pro, while only 0.02 percent of players who complete only a high school degree go pro.

Read Also: 20 Best College Basketball Teams In America

Depending on what scouts think of your college or university play, you may be invited to the WNBA draft. Attend a tryout session with a professional team if you are not invited to the draft.

20 Highest Paid WNBA Players

1. Skylar Diggins-Smith – $221,450

Net Worth: $400,000
WNBA Team: Phoenix Mercury
Position: Point Guard
Height: 5 ft. 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 145 lbs. (66 kg)

Skylar Diggins-Smith is a WNBA standout who receives a salary of $221,450, making her one of the four highest-paid WNBA players in the league.

On and off the court, Diggins has a long list of firsts. She was the first female athlete signed by Roc Nation when she joined the league in 2013.

Her contract with Roc Nation helped her establish herself as one of the most marketable athletes in the country, and she has since signed endorsement deals with Nike, Sprint, BODYARMOR, and Rockin’ Refuel.

She has also been featured in publications such as Sports Illustrated and Vogue. All of this ensures that Diggins earns a sizable salary each year, allowing her to avoid the stress of going abroad to supplement her income during the off-season.

2. Brittney Griner – $221,450

Net Worth: $3 million
WNBA Team: Phoenix Mercury
Position: Center
Height: 6 ft. 8 in (203 cm)
Weight: 205 lbs. (93 kg) 

Griner is one of several gay players in the WNBA, but he has been singled out as a spokesperson for the LGBT community.

She made her sexuality known right away before being drafted into the league in 2013, and she didn’t give a damn about the potential backlash.

Thankfully, many people praised her for her bravery and expressed their admiration for her. This love would encourage the sportsman to achieve stardom.

Griner has racked up a slew of awards and achievements in just seven years in the league, including a championship, six WNBA All-Star selections, two scoring titles, and seven times leading the league in blocks.

She is now one of the league’s highest-paid WNBA players, and she also earns money from playing abroad. Griner, for example, earned around $40,000 in the United States and $600,000 in China in her first year.

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3. DeWanna Bonner – $221,450

Net Worth: $1.5 million
WNBA Team: Connecticut Sun
Position: Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Height: 6 ft. 4 in (1.93m)
Weight: 143 lbs. (65 kg)

Bonner is another WNBA player who has struggled to balance parenthood and a professional career. Fortunately for her, her wife, Candice Dupree, is a professional basketball player who knows the demands.

More significantly, Candice is willing to make her own sacrifices in order to keep things going forward.

For example, after the couple’s baby was born in 2017, Bonner went to Europe to play in the off-season and earn some money for the family, while Dupree took a year off to care for the infant.
 

4. Elena Delle Donne – $221,450

Net Worth: $400,000
WNBA Team: Washington Mystics
Position: Small Forward/Shooting Guard
Height: 6 ft. 5 in (1.96m)
Weight: 187 lbs. (85 kg)

Donne, a two-time WNBA MVP, and six-time All-Star is one of the most well-known players in the women’s game.

She is also one of the highest-paid, with endorsement deals with Nike and DuPont, among others.

However, the player’s financial situation remains precarious, and this was at the center of a dispute she had with the WNBA in 2020.

Donne has Lyme disease and has to take up to 60 medicines a day to keep it under control. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she asked the league for permission to sit out the season to preserve her health.

With the league’s permission, she would have continued to collect her full salary, but they refused. They received a lot of backlash as a result of this.

5. Courtney Vandersloot – $200,000

Net Worth: $5 million
WNBA Team: Chicago Sky
Position: Point Guard
Height: 5 ft. 8 in (1.73m)
Weight: 145 lbs. (66 kg) 

You’ll be dead on with Vandersloot if you call her the “assists specialist.” In that regard, the point guard, who is married to Allie Quigley, has set multiple career records.

They include being the first male or female Division 1 player to reach 1000 assists, as well as having the most assists in a single NCAA season.

Vandersloot has the most assists in a season, most assists per game in a season, and most career assists per game in the WNBA.

As a result of her accomplishments, she is now one of the highest-paid WNBA players.

6. Allie Quigley – $194,000

Net Worth: $2 million
WNBA Team: Chicago Sky
Position: Point Guard/Shooting Guard
Height: 5 ft. 10 in (1.78m)
Weight: 140 lbs. (64 kg)

Quigley has a nomadic career that has seen her conquer both the American and European leagues. She is widely regarded as one of the best shooters in the game.

On two occasions in the WNBA, she was named WNBA All-Star, a sixth woman of the year, and a three-point shootout champion.

She has won the Turkish Cup (2x), Turkish league, Turkish Super Cup, and Euro Cup Women in Europe while playing for Turkish and Hungarian teams.

Quigley has benefited financially from her journeyman status since she has been able to take advantage of the larger payments available in Europe.
 

7. Bria Hartley – $190,550

Net Worth: $2 million
WNBA Team: Phoenix Mercury
Position: Point Guard
Height: 5 ft. 8 in (1.73m)
Weight: 148 lbs. (67 kg)

Pregnancy is a challenge that female athletes face that men athletes do not, and Bria Hartley has had to cope with it.

During the 2016 season, the point guard found out she was pregnant and took maternity leave in the middle of the year. She kept training to be in shape, but she didn’t put her kid in danger.

Hartley gave birth to her son in January 2017, before gradually returning to training camp. Hartley received half of her annual wage and full medical benefits throughout her time away from the game.

She has since rejoined the team, and her pay has been restored to its previous level. Juggling parenthood and the WNBA is difficult, but the player manages with the aid of her family and partner.
 

8. Astou Ndour – $190,550

Net Worth: $250,000
WNBA Team: Dallas Wings
Position: Center/Power Forward
Height: 6 ft. 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 150 lbs. (68 kg)

Ndour may now be one of the highest-paid WNBA players, but she had to go a long way to get there.

Ndour, who is from Senegal in West Africa, began playing the game as a child and excelled to the point where, at the age of 14, she was given the choice of playing in France or Spain.

She chose Spain since she was open to new experiences and went on to impress there. She went on to play for the national team before being picked into the NBA in 2014.

Ndour has now gone on to become one of the best players in the WNBA, but she hasn’t forgotten where she came from. She is leading attempts to bring the game to various African countries.

9. Kristi Toliver – $190,550

Net Worth: $2 million
WNBA Team: Los Angeles Sparks
Position: Point Guard/Shooting Guard
Height: 5 ft. 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight: 130 lbs. (59 kg)

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Toliver, a two-time WNBA champion and three-time All-Star, is one of the league’s most dedicated and hardworking players.

These qualities have led her to become the first active WNBA player to be hired as a coach by an NBA team. Toliver was given a position as an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards in 2018.

Despite the low pay, she accepted the position and has kept it to this day. Juggling full-time teaching and playing career hasn’t been easy, but Toliver has persevered because she isn’t one to make excuses, but rather one to find answers.

10. Courtney Williams – $190,500

Net Worth: $200,000
WNBA Team: Atlanta Dream
Position: Point Guard
Height: 5 ft. in (1.73m)
Weight: 133 lbs. (60 kg)

Courtney Williams, a point guard, is ranked 10th on the list of the highest-paid WNBA players for the year. Williams has shown significant promise since joining the league in 2016, and her father is a big reason for her success.

Don Williams saw his daughter’s ability early on and encouraged her to pursue it. He also encouraged her to be confident and back up her cockiness with action, which helped her develop a tough mental attitude.

Courtney took this piece of advice to heart during her college years, and she went on to play in the WNBA. Her father is still her biggest fan, and he can often be seen cheering her on from the stands during games now that she has turned pro.
 

11. Breanna Stewart – $190,500

Net Worth: $1.4 million
WNBA Team: Seattle Storm
Position: Power Forward
Height: 6 ft. 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 170 lbs. (77 kg)

Breanna Stewart, like Angela McCoughtry, is a WNBA standout who has made a name for herself both on and off the court.

Her accomplishments are all the more astounding because of what she went through on her route to the top.

Stewart was sexually molested between the ages of 9 and 11, but she overcame it on her way to becoming a well-known actress who has won numerous honors.

Two WNBA championships, four NCAA championships, two WNBA All-Star appearances, and an Olympic Gold Medal in 2016 are among them.

Breanna Stewart has landed endorsement deals with companies like Nike as a result of her accomplishments.

The power forward, though, is not resting on her laurels and is utilizing her celebrity to speak out against police violence in the United States.

She advocated for utilizing the 2020 WNBA season to memorialize black victims of police brutality, which earned her praise, despite the fact that she is Caucasian.
 

12. Jonquel Jones – $190,500

Net Worth: $200,000
WNBA Team: Connecticut Sun
Position: Power Forward/Center
Height: 6 ft. 6 in (1.98m)
Weight: 190 lbs. (86 kg)

Occupying the 12th spot on the list of the highest-paid WNBA players is Jonquel Jones. Originally from the Bahamas, Jones has been touted as the next face of the WNBA and the reason is not farfetched.

After a 2016 rookie season that was fairly unremarkable, she got a chance to shine in her second season and effectively utilized it.

She recorded the most single-season rebounds in WNBA history and was named the most improved player for that year.

Jones would go on to win the sixth woman of the year award the next year (given to the most valuable substitute). Other accolades collected by her include WNBA All-Star (2x) and blocks leader (1x).

13. Angel McCoughtry – $190,500

Net Worth: $2 million
WNBA Team: Las Vegas Aces
Position: Small Forward/Shooting Guard
Height: 6 ft. 1 in (1.85m)
Weight: 173 lbs. (78 kg)

McCoughtry has yet to win a championship in her decades-long career, but her work off and on the court has already earned her the title of legend.

The small forward/shooting guard has acquitted herself admirably on the floor, earning numerous awards.

WNBA Rookie of the Year, WNBA All-Star (5 times), WNBA scoring champion (2x), All-WNBA First Team (2x), and two Olympic gold medals are among her achievements.

14. Shekinna Stricklen – $175,100

Net Worth: $1 million
WNBA Team: Atlanta Dream
Position: Forward
Height: 6 ft. 2 in (1.88m)
Weight: 230 lbs. (104 kg)

After the 2019 season ended, Shekinna became a free agent. She didn’t have to spend much time there, either, because the Atlanta Dream offered her a decent two-year contract.

The Dream were compelled to sign Shekinna because they recognized her as a fantastic shooter with size who could add points and help them turn around their dreadful offense.

The fact that Shekinna’s coach, Nikki Collen, had worked with the player in Connecticut was another factor that drew the Franchise to her. As a result, she (Nikki) was aware of the player’s potential contribution to the team.

It also implies that the two are already acquainted, which should imply team success.
 

15. Stefanie Dolson – $175,000

Net Worth: $500,000
WNBA Team: Chicago sky
Position: Center
Height: 6 ft. 5 in (1.96m)
Weight: 231 lbs. (105 kg)

Stefanie Dolson, an award-winning defensive player for the WNBA, is another UConn alumna who makes the list of the highest-paid WNBA players.

Dolson, like everyone else, had to deal with the aftermath of the covid-19 pandemic. The sickness, on the other hand, struck close to home, as she and every other member of her family were infected.

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Her mother, who was hospitalized for four days with acute pneumonia, was particularly affected by the condition. Fortunately, the woman lived, and Dolson was overjoyed.

She applauded the medical personnel for putting their life on the line for others, calling them “inspiring” and “wonderful.”
 

16. Moriah Jefferson – $175,000

Net Worth: N/A
WNBA Team: Dallas Wings
Position: Point Guard
Height: 5 ft. 6 in (1.68m)
Weight: 123 lbs. (56 kg)

Moriah Jefferson, like Kelsey Plum, is a high-paid WNBA player with a prestigious college background. Jefferson was a member of the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team that won the National Championships four years in a row.

As a result, she garnered numerous awards, including two Nancy Lieberman Awards. Despite injury issues, the lady is now a pro and continues to make an impression.

Aside from her $175,000 annual salary, which ranks her as the 16th highest-paid WNBA player, Jefferson has signed endorsement deals with companies like Adidas.

During the off-season, she also earns money by playing for international clubs. She played with Galatasaray in the Turkish league throughout the 2016/2017 and 2018/2019 off-seasons, helping them reach the semi-finals on both occasions.

17. Kelsey Plum – $175,000

Net Worth: $1 million
WNBA Team: Las Vegas Aces
Position: Point Guard
Height: 5 ft. 8 in (1.73m)
Weight: 145 lbs. (66 kg)

Plum has a long history of being one of the most decorated players in the WNBA, dating back to her college days.

During that period, she set multiple scoring records and received numerous awards.

AP Player of the Year, Nancy Lieberman Award for a best point guard in college basketball, Dawn Staley Award for a best guard in women’s college basketball, Wade Trophy for the greatest player in women’s basketball, and Naismith College Player of the Year are among them.

18. Kahleah Copper – $165,000

Net Worth: $1 million
WNBA Team: Chicago Sky
Position: Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Height: 6 ft. 1 in (1.85m)
Weight: 155 lbs. (70 kg)

Kahleah Copper, a shooting guard/small forward, is ranked 18th on the list of the highest-paid WNBA players for the year under review. Copper is one of those athletes who works hard during the off-season to boost her income.

For example, she had intentions to play for Elitzur Ramla, a professional Israeli team, during the 2020 offseason. The rise in coronavirus infections around the world, as well as her low fitness level, derailed that strategy.

As a result, she chose to abandon that plan while continuing to explore other options.

When she was offered the position as assistant coach at Purdue Northwest College, she jumped at it. Copper took the task with trepidation at first, but after seeing the young people’s enthusiasm, he quickly warmed up to it.
 

19. Isabelle Harrison – $154,000

Net Worth: $1 million
WNBA Team: Dallas Wings
Position: Power Forward
Height: 6 ft. 3 in (1.91m)
Weight: 183 lbs. (83 kg)

Isabelle Harrison comes from a long history of athletes, so she isn’t the only one in her family with athletic abilities. Dennis Harrison Jr., her father, played professional American football for ten years in the NFL.

He was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, and Atlanta Falcons during that time.

His time with the Philadelphia Eagles was particularly beneficial, as he led them to the Super Bowl in 1982 and was named to the Pro Bowl that same year.

Isabelle’s older brother, David Jr., is another aspiring athlete who has played professional basketball for clubs in both China and the United States.

He, on the other hand, was unable to make any progress and thus retired in 2012. He has sought to restart his career since then, but so far has been unsuccessful.

20. Tiffany Mitchell – $144,200

Net Worth: N/A
WNBA Team: Indiana Fever
Position: Shooting Guard
Height: 5 ft. 9 in (1.75m)
Weight: 152 lbs. (69 kg)

Tiffany Mitchell, a six-year veteran of the league, has spent her entire career with the Indiana Fever, averaging 9.4 points and 36.6 percent on career shots.

As a result, she is in high demand as a shooting guard, and when she became a free agent in 2019, she received offers from teams like the Atlanta Dream.

The Atlanta Hawks felt she might help their struggling offensive line, so they offered her a three-year contract worth roughly $140,000 in the first year, $144,200 in the second, and $148,526 in the third.

The Indiana Fever, realizing they had a diamond on their hands, matched that offer, which Mitchell gladly accepted.

Conclusion

When compared to their male counterparts, the highest-paid WNBA players are undoubtedly underpaid.

They may also feel threatened if they reveal their pay information with peers with whom they compete for cash.

However, the reality is that the more brands that invest in women’s sports, the more the sport will thrive.
 

References

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