WNBA star A'ja Wilson points out disparity between G League 'Select Contracts' and WNBA salaries

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A’ja Wilson can’t make as much as an 18-year-old in the G League under current WNBA rules. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
A’ja Wilson can’t make as much as an 18-year-old in the G League under current WNBA rules. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

The NBA’s G League will begin offering “Select Contracts” worth $125,000 to 18-year-olds who are not yet eligible for the NBA draft. The max contract in the WNBA is $110,000 a year.

That disparity was not lost on Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson. The reigning Rookie of the Year let everyone know that she would love to be able to get one of those deals.

The most obvious issue presented by the G League “Select Contracts” is that 18-year-olds with no professional experience will make more than the best WNBA players. The problems go deeper than that, according to Natalie Weiner of SB Nation.

The biggest issue with the introduction of the “select contracts,” though, isn’t the $10,000 or so disparity between the yearly salaries of an 18-year-old man with no professional experience and arguably the greatest women’s player of all time (Diana Taurasi). It’s that the NBA sees the G League—a minor league of the men’s game, with minimal opportunity for a direct return—as more worthy of investment than the women’s game as a whole.

The sentiments expressed in Wilson’s tweet have been echoed by other WNBA players over the past couple months. WNBA players have been vocal their fight to receive a higher share of the revenue in the WNBA.

WNBA players receive around 20 percent of the league’s revenue. NBA players receive about 50 percent of their league’s revenue. That argument often gets misconstrued as WNBA players demanding to make as much as NBA players, but that’s not the case. It’s about revenue.

It’s not just WNBA players who think they deserve a bigger slice of the pie. Some NBA players have spoken out in support of WNBA players deserving better pay.

On top of all that, some have argued that the $125,000 contracts might not be enough to convince 18-year-old male players to join the G League.

Paying college players is against NCAA rules, of course, but it still happens.

The WNBA collective-bargaining agreement ends following the 2019 season. Comments like Wilson’s hint that the players are preparing for a fight.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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