Top 10 WNBA Salaries (Highest Paid Female Basketball Players)


No other organized female basketball league boasts as much relevance and acclaim as the WNBA. Home to the most prominent and talented female basketball stars on the planet, the WNBA thrills fans every season with the intensity of the competitive play and action exclusive to the league.

The stars at the center of these actions thus become extremely valuable to their squad and integral to the success of the apex basketball league in the world.

As an incentive to these stars, who have made a name for themselves for their remarkable talents, WNBA teams award mouthwatering contracts to entice them to stay with the franchise.

As a result, the WNBA is inundated with some of the highest-paid female basketball stars in the world. We look at the top 10 WNBA salaries currently.

Before we dabble into the earnings of the top earners in the WNBA, an idea of just how well average WNBA players take home annually gives a keen insight into the various deals of the WNBA Stars.

How Much do WNBA Players earn?

In the 2020–21 season, Yahoo Finance revealed that the average WNBA salary was pegged at $120,648. As of 2022, the super-maximum salary of the league stands at $228,094, and the minimum for a player with two to zero years of experience stands at $60,471. 1

The current maximum base salary level in the WNBA is significantly higher than in 2016 ($109,000). As of June 2022, of the 146 active players in the WNBA, only 14 earned above $200,000, with the highest being $231,515 and $34,127.2

Top 10 WNBA Salaries

10. Chelsea Gray

Chelsea Gray red tux
@cgray209/ Instagram

Team: Las Vegas Aces

Position: Point Guard

2022/23 Salary: $206,267

After a phenomenal career with the Los Angeles Sparks, which resulted in a WNBA Championship, the Las Vegas Aces brought Gray on board to blister its attack and ramp up its defense in the hopes of a championship win.

Gray agreed to a 2-year deal worth $392,534, which skyrocketed the star in free agency to the top of the earning charts in the WNBA.

In the 2022/23 season, she would receive $206,267, the 10th highest in the league, but in the subsequent two seasons, Gray would earn $196,267.

Though Gray has played in various overseas leagues since her career fan in 2014, the star who last played for the Spanish female basketball side Uni Girona is yet to sign any deal with an overseas basketball side.

9. Tiffany Hayes

Tiffany Hayes in hoodie
@tiphayes3/ Instagram

Team: Atlanta Dream

Position: Shooting Guard

2022/23 Salary: $215,000

Since she debuted in the WNBA in the 2012 season, Tiffany Hayes has always been with the Atlanta Dream, even though she juggled various teams in her overseas basketball career.

Currently, the star is one of the top earners in the Atlanta Dream Squad and the WNBA. Her 2022/23 season salary of $215,000 ranks her as the 9th highest-paid star in the league.

However, with no further years in her contract, free agency is staring her right in the face, as she most likely will renew her deal with the Atlanta Dream.

However, should the Dream hesitate to sign her up, Hayes, who currently plays in the Women’s Basketball Super League for Turkish side Çukurova Basketbol, would not be in a hurry to sign a new contract in the WNBA as she earns quite well in her overseas career.

8. Natasha Howard

Natasha Howard flaunting chain
@natashahoward_6/ Instagram

Team: New York Liberty

Position: Power Forward

2022/23 Salary: $221,450

Natasha Howard would be a regular name on the list of highest-paid WNBA players for the next few years.

The New York Liberty power forward has been in incredible form in recent years, having won three WNBA Championships and the 2019 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Her impressive performance was a huge motivation behind New York Liberty’s decision to sign her to a four-year deal worth $898,700. In 2022, she will earn $221,450 in salary, a fair increase from her 2021 salary.

In the final two years of her deal with the franchise, she would earn $227,900 and $234,350, respectively.

Her deal with the New York Liberty was not the only big deal she had in the 2021 season, as she signed a deal with Russian Women’s Basketball Premier League side, Dynamo Kursk, which would significantly increase her earnings.

7. DeWanna Bonner

DeWanna Bonner in black
@dewannabonner/ Instagram

Team: Connecticut Suns

Position: Shooting Guard/Small Forward

2022/23 salary: $224,870

Over ten years after she debuted in the WNBA, DeWanna Bonner is still dominating.

No wonder the Connecticut Suns saw her as a good addition to their squad after playing for ten years with the Phoenix Suns, during which she won two WNBA titles and three WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year Awards.

In 2020, DeWanna Bonner signed a four-year deal with the Suns worth $899,480, which made her one of the highest-paid stars in the league.

Over the course of the contract, Bonner has seen her earnings continually increase. In the third year of the deal, the 2022/23 season, she would earn $224,870, which would increase to $234,350 next season.

6. Elena Delle Donne

Elena Delle Donne in colourful shoes
@de11edonne/ Instagram

Team: Washington Mystics

Position: Small Forward / Shooting Guard

2022/23 Salary: $227,900

If you are one of the best in the WNBA, that success must extend to your endorsement deals and, more importantly, your salary. For Elena Delle Donne, that is exactly the case.

Being one of the most prominent and successful stars in the league, Elena Delle Donne has always been in the sights of WNBA teams, and when she was approaching free agency, the Chicago Sky traded the valuable star to the Washington Mystics in 2017.

After the expiration of her contract, she renewed her deal with the Mystics for a four-year deal worth $899,480. Elena Delle Donne will earn $227,900 in her third year in the WNBA, and that will increase to $234,350 in the 2023/24 season.

Unlike other stars in the league, Elena Delle Donne has not played much in the overseas league, with her first attempt at overseas basketball prematurely ending as a result of a Lyme disease flare-up.

5. Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner in grey tux
@brittneyyevettegriner/ Instagram

Team: Phoenix Mercury

Position: Center

2022/23 Salary: $227,900

The media buzz around Brittney Griner is at an all-time high as she is embroiled in a diplomatic crisis, which has seen her placed in detention in Russia while she was going to play in the Russian Premier League as she often does.

She is hard to miss because of her towering figure, although it may surprise you that she isn’t number one on the list of tallest WNBA players.

Since she arrived in the league in 2017, she has been the Phoenix Mercury’s leading star, leading them to the 2014 WNBA Championship, and she has accumulated multiple laurels throughout her career with the franchise.

She has been rewarded with one of the most lucrative deals in the league. In 2020, she signed a 3-year deal worth $664,544. Griner is in the last year of the deal and would earn $227,900.

It is expected she will sign another mouthwatering deal with the Phoenix Suns upon the expiration of her current one.

4. Skylar Diggins-Smith

Skylar Diggins-Smith
@skylardigginssmith/ Instagram

Team: Phoenix Mercury

Position: Point Guard

2022/23 Salary: $227,900

One of the powerhouses of the Phoenix Mercury squad, Skylar Diggins-Smith, came on board the franchise after spending years building an impressive record for herself with the Dallas Wings.

In 2020, she signed a four-year deal worth $899,900 with the Phoenix Mercury. In the third year of the deal, the 2022/23 season, Skylar Diggins-Smith would earn $227,900, which would increase to $234,350 in the 2023/24 season.

The deal ranks her as the second-highest-paid Phoenix Mercury star in the WNBA.

3. Breanna Stewart

Breanna Stewart in white tux
@breannastewart30/ Instagram

Team: Seattle Storm

Position: Power Forward

2022/23 Salary: $228,094

Her inclusion in the Seattle Storm squad after she was drafted by the franchise as the first overall pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft made the franchise one of the dominant forces in the race for the WNBA title.

On two occasions, Breanna Stewart was integral to the Seattle Storm’s triumph in the WNBA Championship race.

Her efforts have seen her claim numerous individual laurels. As a result, Breanna Stewart has become an important part of the squad, which has seen her emerge as one of the top earners in the franchise and the league.

Ahead of the 2022/23 season, she signed a one-year deal to receive $228,094 in salary.

Stewart is expected to resign from the franchise, but should that fail, she no doubt will find a lucrative deal with franchisees who wish to have her in their ranks.

On the overseas front, she plays for UMMC Ekaterinburg in the Russia Women’s Basketball Premier League.

2. Jewell Loyd

Jewell Loyd in white sneakers
@jewellloyd/ Instagram

Team: Seattle Storm

Position: Point Guard / Shooting Guard

2022/23 Salary: $231,936

The attack and defense of the Seattle Storm have been in a pristine and excellent state, main thanks to stars such as Jewell Loyd.

A Seattle Storm player since she was drafted as the first overall pick by the franchise in the 2015 WNBA Draft, Loyd has been in exceptional form since she debuted in the league.

She has been the leading figure in the Storm’s two NBA Championships in recent years and has claimed multiple individual awards. To keep her on the squad, the Seattle Storms signed a two-year deal worth $463,030 with the star in 2022.

As a result, Jewell Loyd will receive $228,094 in salary in the 2022/23 season. She is the highest-paid Seattle Storm player and the 2nd highest-paid star in the WNBA.

She also plays overseas basketball in the Spanish Liga Femenina de Baloncesto for the Perfumerías Avenida Baloncesto.

1. Diana Taurasi

Diana Taurasi smiling
@dtaurasi3_fp/ Instagram

Team: Phoenix Mercury

Position: Point Guard / Shooting Guard

2022/23 Salary: $228,094

A living legend in the WNBA, Diana Taurasi is still conquering the WNBA at 40.

With immense talents and experience, Diana Taurasi wields a powerful arsenal of profound skills that few Stars in the league can compete with, which has resulted in her being extremely successful in the league.

A Phoenix Mercury player since her first overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft, Diana Taurasi has led the franchise to three WNBA Championships and has won multiple awards to be among the greatest stars in the league.

The merits of having a star like Diana Taurasi in your squad cannot be overemphasized, and thus the Phoenix Mercury has always rewarded her with mouthwatering deans to keep her in their ranks.

She is the league’s highest-paid player, with a salary of $228,094. She is in the final year of the two-year, $449,544 deal she signed with Mercury in 2021.

The Mercury would most likely reward the star with another mouthwatering deal after the expiration of her deal this season.

In her overseas career, Diana Taurasi has been equally successful and has earned quite an impressive sum. 


The WNBA is inundated with talented stars who boast experience and incredible talents.

As a result, teams in the league are eager to secure these stars and thus push to reward them with the most lucrative contracts they can afford.

Though the deals pale in comparison to what these stars earn overseas, the fact that the WNBA is the apex female basketball league and an Avenue to showcase their stardom to a global audience and make their mark in history still makes these stars eager to excel in the league despite the limited pay.

If you are shocked at the top 10 WNBA salaries, then wait till you see the top 20 richest MMA fighters in the world

References & Notes

Facts Sources:
  1. How Much Do WNBA Players Make. Yahoo!
  2. WNBA Salary 2023: How Much Money WNBA Players Make. Queen Ballers Club

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