Top 5 highest paid WNBA players in the history of the league


Let us look at the highestpaid WNBA players in the history of the league

The sports industry is undoubtedly a high-paying industry. Athletes all over the world enjoy a high salary because of their remarkable performance, day in and day out.

Basketball players also get paid handsomely, especially the NBA players. We all know how they sign multimillion-dollar contracts.

However, the scenario is not the same with the WNBA players. There is a huge pay gap between the NBA and the WNBA players.

The WNBA was established in 1996 and today it is a very popular league with star basketball players.

The league has got many star players like Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Elle Della Donne, Liz Cambage, etc. Most of these players are making the maximum base salary of $221,450. Let’s find out how much have they earned to date. Their earnings include salaries, endorsement deals, overseas contracts, and merit bonuses.

Here are the highest-paid WNBA players in the history of the league:

1. Candace Parker – estimated pay: $5 million

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 05: Forward Candace Parker #3 of the Los Angeles Sparks reacts in the game against the Seattle Storm at Staples Center on September 05, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

WNBA salary: $195,000

Award money: $15,450

Overseas contracts: $1.5 million

Endorsements: $3 million

Candace Nicole Parker plays for the Chicago Sky and is a WNBA champion (2016), WNBA Finals MVP (2016), two-times WNBA MVP (2008, 2013), and a six-time WNBA All-Star. She has also won two gold medals in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.

In 2020, Parker won the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year, which added $5,150 to her earnings. Furthermore, she was named to the 2020 All-WNBA First team, which added $10,300 in merit bonus cash to her salary.

Parker has played overseas for 10 seasons in countries like Russia, Turkey, and China. She has reportedly earned $1.5 million from her overseas expeditions.

35-year-old Parker has earned $3 million from endorsements. She has endorsement deals with Gatorade, Adidas, Beats by Dre, etc.

2. Diana Taurasi – estimated pay: $3.5 million

Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury dribbles past a player. (The Athletic)

WNBA salary: $228,094

Award money: $106,953

Overseas contracts: $1.5 million

Endorsements: $1.35 million

Diana Taurasi was the 2004, Round 1, 1st overall pick by the Phoenix Mercury. She is a three-time WNBA champion (2007, 2009, 2014), two-times WNBA Finals MVP (2009, 2014), and WNBA MVP (2009).

38-year-old Diana Taurasi, who plays for Phoenix Mercury, signed a two-year supermax deal on February 1, 2021. With this deal, Taurasi earns a salary of $228,094.

Taurasi used to play overseas with the Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg. While playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg, Taurasi earned $1.5 million per season.

She earned her award money of $106,953 because of her selection to the 2020 All-WNBA Second Team, for reaching the second round of WNBA playoffs, and for providing her services to Team USA.

She has made $1.35 million from her endorsement deals with BodyArmor, a sports drink, and by agreeing to exclusively wear LeBron James’ signature line on the court. There are also other endorsement deals that are not public.

3. Sue Bird – estimated pay: $2.83 million

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Sue Bird plays against the Minnesota Lynx in Palmetto, Florida, September 27, 2020.Stephen Gosling / Getty Images

WNBA salary: $221,450

Award money: $111,536

Overseas contracts: $500,000

Endorsements: $1.5 million

Sue Bird was the 2002, Round 1, 1st overall pick by the Seattle Storm. She is a four-time WNBA champion (2004, 2010, 2018, 2020), twelve-time WNBA All-Star (2002, 2003, 2005-2007, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2021) and five-team WNBA First Team (2002-2005, 2016).

In 2020, Bird re-signed with the Seattle Storm, agreeing to a supermax contract. The contract will guarantee her $221,450 in base earnings this summer. Seattle Storm won the 2020 WNBA Championship, thus guaranteeing Bird an extra $11,536 for that achievement. Sue is also a part of Team USA. So, she receives close to $100,000 to play for the United States.

Bird has also played overseas, especially in Russia, from where she has earned around $500,000. She has endorsement deals with Nike, Symetra, State Farm, American Express, and Glossier. It is reported that she earns $1.5 million from her endorsement deals.

4. Breanna Stewart – estimated pay: $2.36 million

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Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart looks to pass the ball during the second half of Game 2 of basketball’s WNBA Finals against the Las Vegas Aces, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP)

WNBA salary: $228,094

Award money: $121,836

Overseas contracts: $1 million

Endorsements: $1 million

Breanna Stewart was the 2016, Round 1, 1st overall pick by the Seattle Storm. She is a two-time WNBA Champion (2018, 2020), two-time WNBA Finals MVP (2018, 2020), one-time WNBA MVP (2018), three-time WNBA All-Star (2017, 2018, 2021), and also is the Rookie of the Year (2016). She has also won a gold medal at the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics.

Stewart signed a two-year $375,500 contract with the Seattle Storm, including an annual average salary of $187,750. So, in 2020, she is guaranteed a base salary of $185,000. Stewart earned an additional $11,536 for winning the 2020 WNBA Championship.

She was also named to the All-First Team, so she gets an extra $10,300. Breanna is also a part of Team USA, thus receiving $100,000 to play for the United States.

Her overseas career, especially with UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia and with Shanghai Baoshan Dahua Swordfish in China, has earned her an income of around $1 million. She has also signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Nike in 2016. The endorsement deal guarantees her an income of around $1 million.

5. Brittney Griner – estimated pay: $2.316 million

Brittney Griner looks to take a shot. (Getty Images)

WNBA salary: $221,515.

Award money: $101,803

Overseas contracts: $1 million

Endorsements: $1 million

Brittney Yevette Griner was the 2013, Round 1, 1st overall pick by the Phoenix Mercury. She is a WNBA Champion (2014), a seven-time All-Star (2013-2015, 2017-2019, 2021), and has also won a gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

She earns a yearly salary of $215,000 from the Phoenix Mercury and has also won a total of $101,803 in award money. Griner is an active member of Team USA, thus earning $100,000 to play for the USA. She earned the bonus of $1,803 because her team, Phoenix Mercury, played in the playoffs.

One of the tallest players in the WNBA, Griner has played in China during her rookie season and now currently plays in Russia for the UMMC Ekaterinburg. Thus, her overseas earning amount to $1 million. She also has an endorsement deal with Nike, from where she earns an estimated $1 million.

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