WNBA salaries: Who has the highest, league average, more

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WNBA salaries: Who has the highest, league average, more originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The WNBA may be a league on the rise, but its players’ pay is low.

Glancing over at the highest-paid players in the NBA reveals that Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry has the richest annual salary at a little north of $48 million. 

As we dive into the salaries of WNBA players, however, the difference is stark. In 2020, the league’s latest collective bargaining agreement bumped the maximum salary for the highest-paid players from $117,500 to $215,000. 

Here’s everything you need to know about salaries in the WNBA (all numbers via Spotrac):

Who is the highest-paid player in the WNBA?

In terms of base salaries, three athletes are tied for the highest-paid player in the WNBA: Seattle Storm stars Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart and Phoenix Mercury icon Diana Taurasi. Each had a salary of $228,094 for this season. 

Here’s a look at the top 10:

T-1: Jewell Loyd, $228,094

T-1: Breanna Stewart, $228,094

T-1: Diana Taurasi, $228,094

T-4: Elena Delle Donne, $227,900

T-4: Skylar Diggins-Smith, $227,900

T-4: Brittney Griner, $227,900

T-4: DeWanna Bonner, $227,900

8. Natasha Howard, $221,450

9. Tiffany Hayes, $215,000

10. Chelsea Gray, $206,267

Who is the lowest-paid player in the WNBA?

The lowest-paid player in the WNBA is Mercury’s Kaela Davis. The 27-year-old has the 151st-ranked salary in the league at $1,607. Eight players, including Davis, have salaries less than $10,000. 

What is the league average of salaries in the WNBA?

As of 2022, the league average of salaries in the WNBA is $102,751 among 151 athletes. 

How much do WNBA rookies make?

How much a WNBA rookies makes depends on where she was drafted. According to Her Hoop Stats, here’s a breakdown of how much rookies drafted in 2022 made this season: 

  • Picks 1-4: $72,141

  • Picks 5-8: $69,224

  • Picks 9-12: $66,306

  • Second round: $63,389

  • Third round and undrafted: $60,471

According to Spotrac, Rhyne Howard, NaLyssa Smith, Shakira Austin and Emily Engstler, the top four picks in 2022, all have salaries of $72,141. Basketball icon Sue Bird, who plays for the Storm in what is her last season before retiring, is making the same amount as that’s also the league’s veteran minimum salary.