Who is the Highest-Paid WNBA Player in 2024?

A breakdown of the biggest contracts in the W.

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Excitement for the WNBA is at an all-time high as the league prepares to tip off it's 28th season. There are two super teams in the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty, women's basketball on a whole is on the rise and, oh yeah, college basketball's all-time leading scorer (and arguably, attention-driver), Caitlin Clark, is entering the league this season.

All the buzz has not immediately translated into huge paychecks for the players yet. The league has a per-team salary cap of $1,463,200 to cover a max of 12 players. That is less than almost every player in the NBA makes. It also comes to an average salary of about $121,ooo per player. The most a player can be paid is $241,984, which a few players (stay tuned!) receive.

While salaries remain disappointing relative to the attention the league is receiving, there has been good news recently about charter flights and you are seeing more and more players maximize their earnings while college players (through NIL deals) as well as with endorsements.

But the overall business health of the WNBA and its players is a topic—and article—for another day. We're here to tell you what 10 players in the W will make the most this season. For the purposes of this piece, we're discussing only what they make from their teams, and not accounting for bonuses, deferred payments or any other contract complications—this list covers the 10 who are making the most "cash," ie, what they will take home this season.

All stats via Spotrac and the WNBA.

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1. (tie) Arike Ogunbowale, Dallas Wings

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  • Salary: $241,984

Arike Ogunbowale comes in tied for first as she is slated to earn the "supermax" of $241,984 for the upcoming 2024 season. The Dallas Wings superstar combo guard had a great 2023 campaign, playing all 40 games and averaging 21.2 ppg, 4.5 apg and 1.7 spg.

1. (tie) Jewell Loyd, Seattle Storm

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  • Salary: $241,984

All-star guard Jewell Loyd has long been one of the the highest-paid WNBA Players after signing a series of extensions with the Seattle Storm, the only team she's ever played for. Loyd was the first overall pick in 2015 after an illustrious career at Notre Dame and starred in a classic movie trailer that Bleacher Report produced in 2018. Last season Loyd set a career-high by averaging 24.7 ppg, easily the best in the league.

1. (tie) Kahleah Copper, Chicago Sky

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  • Salary: $241,984

A hard-nosed wing out of Philadelphia and Rutgers, Copper's career started slow as a rookie with the Washington Mystics in 2016, but her career has blossomed in Chicago. Last year Copper set career highs in games played (38) and ppg (18.7), rightfully cementing her status as the glue to the Chicago Sky and the third and final player on this list to earn the max salary of $241,984.

4. Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury

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  • Salary: $234,936

Diana Taurusi has long been one of the the biggest faces of the WNBA. DT has been in the league since 2004(!!), and is among the most decorated WNBA players ever, so its no surprise that she's also one of the highest-paid.

5. Natasha Howard, Dallas Wings

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  • Salary: $234,350

A well-traveled forward who has been in the WNBA since 2014, Howard signed with the Wings before last season and had a great season in Dallas, averaging 16.5 ppg and 8 rpg in 39 games.

6. Alyssa Thomas, Connecticut Suns

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  • Salary: $218,000

Alyssa Thomas went fourth overall in the 2014 WNBA draft to the New York Liberty before being traded to the Connecticut Sun that same day. She has called Connecticut her home since, playing the entirety of her WNBA career there after re-signing in 2018 and again in 2021.

7. (tie) Kelsey Mitchell, Indiana Fever

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  • Salary: $212,000

Kelsey Mitchell entered the WNBA after being selected 2nd overall in the 2018 draft to the Indiana Fever, and so far it's been a match made in heaven. She's averaged about 18 ppg for four straight seasons and should become even more of a household name this season as she plays alongside young superstars Clark and Aliyah Boston.

7. (tie) Brionna Jones, Connecticut Sun

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  • Salary: $212,000

Like Thomas two slots above, Jones is a high-performing forward who has spent her whole career with the Sun (no wonder the team has been so good for years). Injuries caused Jones to only play a career-low 13 games last season but she's healthy and back for this season and playing on a one-year deal that lands her tied for seventh on this list.

9. (tie) Napheesa Collier, Minnesota Lynx

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  • Salary: $208,219

Napheesa Collier is a former star at UConn who joined the Lynx in 2019, had three solid seasons, missed almost all of the 2022 season because she had a child, and then promptly had the best season of her career last year (21.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg in a career-high 37 games).

9. (tie) Sklyar Diggins-Smith

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  • Salary: $208,219

When looking at the best vets in the WNBA, it's hard to look past point guard Skylar Diggins-Smith, a former Notre Dame legend who has already made her mark in three WNBA cities. This year she begins a new chapter, having signed a two-year deal with the Seattle Storm that places her in the 9th/10th slot for top WNBA salaries in 2024.

Some names that are missing from this list do to the vagaries of salary timing, franchise cap strategies, etc, include Aces Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum, A'ja Wilson and Jackie Young, as well as big names from the Liberty like Sabrina Ionescu and reigning MVP Breanna Stewart. And, famously, the aformentioned Clark, who is bound by the W's rookie salary scale and will make "just" $76,535 this season.

She sure looks ready for the action, though.

Now everyone: go watch some WNBA action! The more we watch, the higher the ratings go, the higher the revenue goes and the higher the salaries go. Enjoy the season!

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