How Much Do WNBA Players Actually Make?

In an interview with CNBC, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert revealed that the reported earnings of Caitlin Clark were only a small portion of what she could make overall. “One thing, there’s a false narrative out there about Caitlin herself and nobody ever just looks at base pay,” Engelbert said, and continued, “It’s proxy season, right? You look at base pay, plus bonus, plus stock options, etc. She’ll have the ability to make up to $500,000 in just her W earnings this year.”

According to the 2014 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which ran until 2021, each WNBA player was entitled to a bonus of $11,025 if they won a championship. In a similar fashion, players of teams that took second place each received $5,513, while those that got axed in the first and second rounds were paid $1,103 and $2,756, respectively. The league additionally offered bonuses to the MVP, capped at $15,000, and All-WNBA team members, who earned $10,000 or $5,000 depending on whether they were on the first or second teams.

These figures, in addition to bonuses for Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, and Sportsmanship Award recipient — all of which were placed at $5,000 — had a small increase of between $75 to $450 per player in the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

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