The 20 Highest Paid WNBA Players and How Much They Make

As the issue of women’s rights rages on across the globe, one particular aspect that has gained traction is the gender pay gap. Whether one is a fan of feminism or not, the reality remains that men generally earn more than women on average. This is the norm in several sectors and one good example of this is the professional basketball leagues in the U.S.

While top NBA stars such as LeBron James and Steph Curry pocket about $38 million to $40 million annually, the highest-paid WNBA stars don’t even broach half a million. The average salary of a male basketball player is put at $7.7 million while that of their female counterparts is a mere $100,658. The situation is so bad that many NBA referees even make more than the players in the WNBA.

Despite this unsavory reality, the women of the WNBA continue making great strides both on and off the court. They have also learned to supplement their income by playing in foreign leagues, such as China and Europe, during the offseason. This is quite a lucrative option as most of these leagues pay thrice more than the WNBA. But what exactly does the WNBA itself pay? We unveil to you the 20 highest-paid players in the league right now.

The Highest Paid WNBA Players and Their Salaries

20. Tiffany Mitchell – $144,200

  • Net Worth: N/A
  • WNBA Team: Indiana Fever
  • Position: Shooting Guard
  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5 ft. 9 in (1.75m)
  • Weight: 152 lbs. (69 kg)

Highest Paid WNBA Players
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A six-year veteran of the league, Tiffany Mitchell has spent the entirety of her career with the Indiana Fever and in that time has averaged 9.4 points and 36.6% career shots. This has made her an in-demand shooting guard so when she entered free agency in 2019, she immediately landed offers from the likes of the Atlanta Dream. The Atlanta side hoped that she would boost their faltering attacking line and made her an offer which would see her earn around $140,000 in the first year, $144,200 in the second year, and then $148,526 in the third year. The Indiana Fever, having realized the gem they had on their hands, however, matched that offer and Mitchell accepted immediately.

19. Isabelle Harrison – $154,000

  • Net Worth: $1 million
  • WNBA Team: Dallas Wings
  • Position: Power Forward
  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6 ft. 3 in (1.91m)
  • Weight: 183 lbs. (83 kg)

Isabelle Harrison
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Isabelle Harrison is not the only athletically-gifted person in her family as she comes from a line of sportsmen. Her father, Dennis Harrison Jr., was a professional American football player who spent ten years in the NFL. During that time, he played for various teams such as the Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, and Atlanta Falcons. His stint with the Philadelphia Eagles was particularly fruitful as he made it to the 1982 Super Bowl with them, receiving Pro Bowl honors that same year.

Another budding athlete related to Isabelle is her elder brother, David Jr., who played professional basketball for teams in both China and the U.S.A. He, however, couldn’t make much headway and so quit in 2012. He has since attempted to jumpstart his career but has not been successful yet.

18. Kahleah Copper – $165,000

  • Net Worth: $1 million
  • WNBA Team: Chicago Sky
  • Position: Shooting Guard/Small Forward
  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6 ft. 1 in (1.85m)
  • Weight: 155 lbs. (70 kg)

Kahleah Copper
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Occupying the 18th spot on the list of the highest-paid WNBA players for the year under review is shooting guard/small forward, Kahleah Copper. Copper is one of those players who work hard during the off-season in order to supplement her regular income. For instance, during the 2020 offseason, she made plans to play for a professional Israeli team known as Elitzur Ramla. That plan was, however, scuttled by the surge of coronavirus cases globally as well as the fact that her fitness level was low. She, therefore, decided to forgo that idea but remained on the lookout for other opportunities. That opportunity came when she was offered the role of an assistant coach for Purdue Northwest College. Copper accepted the role with some hesitations but went on to relish it having witnessed the enthusiasm of the young ones.

17. Kelsey Plum – $175,000

  • Net Worth: $1 million
  • WNBA Team: Las Vegas Aces
  • Position: Point Guard
  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5 ft. 8 in (1.73m)
  • Weight: 145 lbs. (66 kg)

Highest Paid WNBA Players
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Plum is one of the most decorated players in the WNBA and this is a trait that dates back to her college days. During that time, she broke several scoring records and was rewarded with numerous accolades. They include AP Player of the Year, The Nancy Lieberman Award for the top point guard in college basketball, The Dawn Staley Award for the best guard in women’s college basketball, The Wade Trophy for the best player in women’s basketball, and the Naismith College Player of The Year award.

Plum was drafted first overall in the 2017 WNBA draft and has continued from where she left off in college. She has consistently improved in her scoring percentages. She has also assisted her team to make it to the semifinals of the WNBA championships.

16. Moriah Jefferson – $175,000

  • Net Worth: N/A
  • WNBA Team: Dallas Wings
  • Position: Point Guard
  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5 ft. 6 in (1.68m)
  • Weight: 123 lbs. (56 kg)

Moriah Jefferson
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Much like Kelsey Plum, Moriah Jefferson is another top-earning WNBA player who comes with a prestigious college career. Playing for the University of Connecticut, Jefferson helped her team to win the National Championships for four consecutive years. She consequently received a whole lot of accolades, including two Nancy Lieberman Awards. The lady is now a pro and continues to make an impact despite injury troubles.

Asides from her annual take-home of $175,000, which makes her the 16th highest paid WNBA player, Jefferson has scored some endorsement deals with the likes of Adidas. She also makes extra income by playing for foreign clubs during the off-season. In the 2016/2017 and 2018/2019 off-seasons, she played for Galatasaray in the Turkish league and helped them make the semi-finals on each occasion.

15. Stefanie Dolson – $175,000

  • Net Worth: $500,000
  • WNBA Team: Chicago sky
  • Position: Center
  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6 ft. 5 in (1.96m)
  • Weight: 231 lbs. (105 kg)

Highest Paid WNBA Players
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Another UConn alumnae that makes it into the list of the highest-paid WNBA players is award-winning defensive player, Stefanie Dolson. Much like everyone else, Dolson had to cope with the impact of the covid-19 pandemic. The disease, however, hit closer to home as she and every other member of her family caught it. The disease particularly affected her mom who had to spend four days in the hospital with severe pneumonia. Thankfully, the woman survived and Dolson was full of gratitude. She praised the health workers for risking their lives for everyone else and described them as inspirational and amazing.

14. Shekinna Stricklen – $175,100

  • Net Worth: $1 million
  • WNBA Team: Atlanta Dream
  • Position: Forward
  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6 ft. 2 in (1.88m)
  • Weight: 230 lbs. (104 kg)

Shekinna Stricklen
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Shekinna entered free agency following the end of the 2019 season. She, however, didn’t have to linger there much as she got a reasonable two-year contract offer from the Atlanta Dream. The Dream were motivated to sign Shekinna as they saw her as an incredible shooter with size who can contribute points and help them overturn their abysmally-performing offense. Another thing that attracted the Franchise to Shekinna was the fact that their coach, Nikki Collen, had worked with the player in Connecticut. It, therefore, means that she (Nikki) knew what the player could bring to the team. It also means that there is already a level of familiarity between the two which should naturally lead to team success.

13. Angel McCoughtry – $190,500

  • Net Worth: $2 million
  • WNBA Team: Las Vegas Aces
  • Position: Small Forward/Shooting Guard
  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6 ft. 1 in (1.85m)
  • Weight: 173 lbs. (78 kg)

Angel McCoughtry
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McCoughtry is yet to win a championship in the course of her decades-long career but she is already regarded as a legend thanks to her work off and on the court. On the court, the small forward/shooting guard has performed marvelously well and has received a host of accolades. They include WNBA rookie of the year, WNBA All-Star (5x), WNBA scoring champion (2x) All-WNBA First Team (2x), and two Olympic gold medals.

Off the court, McCoughtry is dedicated to using her platform to making the world a better place. She has spoken out against police brutality and has urged her fellow Americans to vote during the hotly-contested 2020 elections. The player is also passionate about taking the game to new places. To this end, she has organized events in Senegal and Ghana in a bid to open doors of opportunities for aspiring women basketballers.

12. Jonquel Jones – $190,500

  • Net Worth: $200,000
  • WNBA Team: Connecticut Sun
  • Position: Power Forward/Center
  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6 ft. 6 in (1.98m)
  • Weight: 190 lbs. (86 kg)

Jonquel Jones
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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).

11. Breanna Stewart – $190,500

  • Net Worth: $1.4 million
  • WNBA Team: Seattle Storm
  • Position: Power Forward
  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6 ft. 4 in (1.93 m)
  • Weight: 170 lbs. (77 kg)

Highest Paid WNBA Players
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Much like Angela McCoughtry, Breanna Stewart is another WNBA star who has distinguished herself both on and off the court. Her achievements are made all the more impressive by what she survived on her way to the top. Stewart was sexually molested from ages 9 to 11 but she overcame it on her way to becoming a decorated star with several awards to her name. They include WNBA championships (2x), NCAA championships (4x), WNBA All-Star (2x), and an Olympic Gold Medal in 2016.

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Achievements like this have fetched Breanna Stewart endorsement deals with the likes of Nike. The power forward is not resting on her laurels though but is using her star power to speak out about police brutality in the U.S. She supported using the 2020 WNBA season to honor black victims of police brutality and this fetched her commendation especially seeing as she is Caucasian.

10. Courtney Williams – $190,500

  • Net Worth: $200,000
  • WNBA Team: Atlanta Dream
  • Position: Point Guard
  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5 ft. in (1.73m)
  • Weight: 133 lbs. (60 kg)

Courtney Williams
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Occupying the 10th spot on the list of the highest-paid WNBA players for the year is point guard, Courtney Williams. Williams has shown great promise ever since she joined the league in 2016 and part of the reason for her success is her dad. Don Williams spotted his daughter’s talent at an early age and encouraged her to train. He also helped her to build up a tough mental attitude by encouraging her to be cocky and back up her cockiness with action. This piece of advice stuck with Courtney all throughout her college days and she was able to get into the WNBA. Even now that she has gone pro, her father remains her biggest supporter and can often be spotted at games cheering her from courtside.

9. Kristi Toliver – $190,550

  • Net Worth: $2 million
  • WNBA Team: Los Angeles Sparks
  • Position: Point Guard/Shooting Guard
  • Age: 34
  • Height: 5 ft. 7 in (1.70 m)
  • Weight: 130 lbs. (59 kg)

Kristi Toliver
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A two-time WNBA champion and a three-time All-Star, Toliver is one of the most passionate and hardworking players in the league. It is these traits that have spurred her to become the first active WNBA player to gain a coaching role with an NBA side. In 2018, Toliver was offered the opportunity to be an assistant coach for The Washington Wizards. Even though the role paid little, she took it and has retained it to date. It hasn’t been easy juggling a full-time coaching and playing career but Toliver continues to scrape by as she is not a person who makes excuses but rather one who finds solutions.

8. Astou Ndour – $190,550

  • Net Worth: $250,000
  • WNBA Team: Dallas Wings
  • Position: Center/Power Forward
  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6 ft. 5 in (1.96 m)
  • Weight: 150 lbs. (68 kg)

Highest Paid WNBA Players
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Ndour may be one of the highest-paid WNBA players today but she had to follow a circuitous route to the top. Originally from the West African nation of Senegal, Ndour started playing the game as a child and excelled so much so that by the age of 14, she was given the option of going to play either in France or Spain. Open to trying new things, she picked Spain and went on to impress there. She then made it into the national team ranks before getting drafted into the NBA in 2014. Ndour has since become one of the top players in the WNBA but she has not forgotten her roots. She is spearheading efforts to take the game to several parts of Africa.

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7. Bria Hartley – $190,550

  • Net Worth: $2 million
  • WNBA Team: Phoenix Mercury
  • Position: Point Guard
  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5 ft. 8 in (1.73m)
  • Weight: 148 lbs. (67 kg)

Bria Hartley
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One issue that female athletes have to deal with, unlike their male counterparts, is pregnancy and Bria Hartley has had to navigate this. The point guard found out that she was expecting during the 2016 season and embarked on maternity leave midway through the season. She continued training in order to keep in shape but did nothing to risk her baby. Hartley would later welcome her son in January 2017 before slowly resuming training camp again. Throughout the period that she was away from the game, Hartley received half of her annual salary and full medical benefits. She has now returned to the team once more and it is back to her full pay. It is not easy juggling motherhood and the WNBA but the player relies on the help of her family and partner to cope.

6. Allie Quigley – $194,000

  • Net Worth: $2 million
  • WNBA Team: Chicago Sky
  • Position: Point Guard/Shooting Guard
  • Age: 34
  • Height: 5 ft. 10 in (1.78m)
  • Weight: 140 lbs. (64 kg)

Highest Paid WNBA Players
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Widely regarded as one of the best shooters in the game, Quigley has had a nomadic career that has seen her conquer both the American and European leagues. In the WNBA, she has been named WNBA All-star, the sixth woman of the year, and three-point shootout champion on two occasions each. In Europe, she has played for Turkish and Hungarian sides and has won the Turkish Cup (2x), Turkish league, Turkish Super Cup, and Euro Cup Women. Such a journeyman career has been financially rewarding for Quigley as she has pocketed the more significant paychecks on offer in Europe.

5. Courtney Vandersloot – $200,000

  • Net Worth: $5 million
  • WNBA Team: Chicago Sky
  • Position: Point Guard
  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5 ft. 8 in (1.73m)
  • Weight: 145 lbs. (66 kg)

Courtney Vandersloot
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If you describe Vandersloot as the assists specialist, then you will be exactly spot on. The point guard, who is married to Allie Quigley, has broken several career records in that aspect. They include being the first Division 1 player, male or female, to accumulate 1000 assists as well as the most assists in a single NCAA season. In the WNBA, Vandersloot holds the records for most assists in a season, most assists-per-game in a season, and most career assists-per-game. Such feats have undoubtedly increased her value and as such, she is now one of the highest-paid in the WNBA.

4. Elena Delle Donne – $221,450

  • Net Worth: $400,000
  • WNBA Team: Washington Mystics
  • Position: Small Forward/Shooting Guard
  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6 ft. 5 in (1.96m)
  • Weight: 187 lbs. (85 kg)

Elena Delle Donne
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A one-time WNBA champion, two-time MVP, and six-time All-Star, Donne is one of the most popular names in the women’s game. She is also one of the highest-paid and has endorsement deals with the likes of Nike and DuPont. The player, however, still has fragile finances and this was at the heart of a dispute that she had with the WNBA in 2020.
Donne suffers from Lyme disease and has to take as much as 60 pills a day to manage it. Amidst the covid-19 pandemic, she sought the permission of the league to sit out the season so as to protect her health. The league’s consent would have seen her still receive her full wages but they refused to grant her request. This predictably fetched them criticism from far and wide.

3. DeWanna Bonner – $221,450

  • Net Worth: $1.5 million
  • WNBA Team: Connecticut Sun
  • Position: Shooting Guard/Small Forward
  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6 ft. 4 in (1.93m)
  • Weight: 143 lbs. (65 kg)

DeWanna Bonner
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Bonner is another WNBA star who has had to juggle motherhood and a career. Luckily for her, her wife is also a professional basketball player named Candice Dupree who understands the demands involved. Even more importantly, Candice is also willing to make her own fair share of sacrifices in order to keep things moving. For instance, following the birth of the couple’s baby in 2017, Bonner headed to Europe to play the off-season and make some money for the family while Dupree took a year off from work to take care of the newborn.

2. Brittney Griner – $221,450

  • Net Worth: $3 million
  • WNBA Team: Phoenix Mercury
  • Position: Center
  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6 ft. 8 in (203 cm)
  • Weight: 205 lbs. (93 kg)

Highest Paid WNBA Players
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The WNBA boasts of several gay players but one who has particularly been held out as an ambassador for the LGBT community is Griner. Prior to being drafted into the league in 2013, she made her sexuality immediately clear, not giving a hoot about any potential blowback. Thankfully, lots of fans appreciated her for her courage and showed her love. This love would buoy the player to become an accomplished star. In just seven years in the league, Griner has amassed a host of accolades and titles, including one championship, six WNBA All-Star appearances, two scoring titles, and leading in blocks seven tmes. She is now one of the highest-paid players in the league and also makes additional income from playing abroad. In her rookie year, for instance, Griner made about $40,000 in the USA and $600,000 in China.

1. Skylar Diggins-Smith – $221,450

  • Net Worth: $400,000
  • WNBA Team: Phoenix Mercury
  • Position: Point Guard
  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5 ft. 9 in (1.75 m)
  • Weight: 145 lbs. (66 kg)

Highest Paid WNBA Players
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Another WNBA star who earns a salary of $221,450 and so qualifies as one of the four highest-paid players in the league is Skylar Diggins-Smith. Diggins is a woman of many firsts, both on and off the court. Upon joining the league in 2013, she became the first female athlete signed by Roc Nation. Her deal with Roc Nation helped to turn her into one of the most marketable athletes in America and she has since scored endorsement deals with the likes of Nike, Sprint, BODYARMOR, and Rockin’ Refuel. She has also appeared in magazines such as Sports Illustrated as well as Vogue. All these ensure that Diggins pulls in a substantial check each year and as such, she can avoid the stress of going abroad to make extra money during the off-season.

Recap of The 20 Highest Paid WNBA Players and How Much They Make

1. Skylar Diggins-Smith – $221,450

2. Brittney Griner – $221,450

3. DeWanna Bonner – $221,450

4. Elena Delle Donne – $221,450

5. Courtney Vandersloot – $200,000

6. Allie Quigley – $194,000

7. Bria Hartley – $190,550

8. Astou Ndour – $190,550

9. Kristi Toliver – $190,550

10. Courtney Williams -$190,500

11. Jonquel Jones – $190,500

12. Breanna Stewart – $190,500

13. Angel McCoughtry – $190,500

14. Shekinna Stricklen – $175,000

15. Stefanie Dolson -$175,000

16. Moriah Jefferson – $175,000

17. Kelsey Plum – $175,000

18. Kahleah Copper – $165,000

19. Isabelle Harrison – $154,500

20. Tiffany Mitchell – $144,200

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Ngozika Agu
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