Elsewhere around the league, star players are enjoying new lucrative contracts.
Tiffany Hayes ($215,000) is the highest-paid player for the Atlanta Dream for the second consecutive year. She has been with the Dream since she first entered the league in 2o12 after being selected 14th overall in the draft.
Two of Chicago’s highest-paid players happen to be married: Courtney Vandersloot ($195,000) and Allie Quigley ($135,000), cheekily known as the Vanderquigs, each signed new deals with the Sky earlier last year. In 2021, they hit the floor with Chicago native Candace Parker, who stands as the second-highest earner on the team at $195,000. 2021 WNBA Finals MVP Kahleah Copper sits at the top of the Sky's salary cap, earning $200,000 annually.
In Dallas, guard Allisha Gray ($164,800) will be the top earner on a youthful Wings team set to be held down by its burgeoning superstars—Arike Ogunbowale ($72,141) and Satou Sabally ($76,297) will have to wait until at least 2023 for the substantial pay rises they deserve.
The LA Sparks, who lost superstars Parker and Gray in the offseason, will pay Kristi Toliver and WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike max salaries of $190,550 each this year.
Over in Minnesota, Kayla McBride and Aerial Powers—shocking Lynx acquisitions in a whirlwind period of free agency—will each receive max salaries of $190,550, out-earning new teammate and former MVP Sylvia Fowles ($117,894).
The perpetually rebuilding New York Liberty traded for the three-time champ and 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Natasha Howard, whom they will reward with $221,000 this year; the Libs also scored 2020 Wubble breakthrough star Betnijah Laney in free agency, and she, in turn, will take home a max salary of $190,550. The Liberties young star point guard Sabrina Ionescu is slated to make $76,297 this upcoming season.
In February 2020, Sue Bird told Howard Megdal, “money has really never been the motivator in the WNBA.” In equal parts, Bird enlightens the privilege of having a spot in such an incredibly competitive league and points out that the CBA’s new salary structure marks a historic turning point for the WNBA.