Sports Mania listed the top 10 most paid WNBA players for 2021 and leading them is Skylar Diggins-Smith (PHX) who is expected to earn $221,450 in 2021 NBA season. Next on the Women National Basketball Association‘s highest-paid list is Brittney Griner also in PHX team and also expected to also earn $221,450 this year. Three out of the top 10 WNBA highest paid athlete plays for Phoenix Mercury.
|1||Skylar Diggins-Smith||Phoenix Mercury||$221,450|
|2||Brittney Griner||Phoenix Mercury||$221,450|
|3||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury||$221,450|
|4||Liz Cambage||Las Vegas Aces||$221,450|
|5||Sue Bird||Seattle Storm||$221,450|
|6||Elena Delle Donne||Washington Mystics||$221,450|
|7||DeWanna Bonner||Connecticut Sun||$221,450|
|8||Natasha Howard||New York Liberty||$215,000|
|9||Courtney Vandersloot||Chicago Sky||$200,000|
|10||Alyssa Thomas||Connecticut Sun||$200,000|
Liz Cambage also received an average of $221.45 thousand U.S. dollars for her performances in 2021. Nearly all of the top 3 highest earners in the WNBA in 2021 played for the Phoenix Mercury and next is Liz Cambage of Las Vegas Aces.
Is the Phoenix Mercury the most successful WNBA team?
Phoenix Mercury is one of the highest paid WNBA team with three out of five of the highest paid WNBA players are under this team. The Phoenix Mercury are one of the eight original franchises of the WNBA and have been owned by Robert Sarver since 2004.
Even though the Phoenix Mercury have been quite successful and won three WNBA championships between 1997 and 2020, they were not the team with the highest number of WNBA championships won. The Minnesota Lynx, Houston Comets, and Seattle Storm each won four WNBA championships during this time period.
WNBA players are paid lower compared to NBA players
WNBA players are paid lower compared to NBA counterparts. The average salary of an NBA player is $7.7M. In the WNBA, it’s closer to $75,000, so the female athletes are making about 1% of the salaries of their male counterparts.
Compared to top earners in the women’s league, most of the highest paid male professional basketball players take higher amounts each year. Stephen Curry of Golden State Warriors is currently the highest paid NBA player for 2021-22 NBA season, earning around $45.7 million U.S while Lebron James, on the 4th rank earning around $41.1 dollars for 2021-22 NBA season.
Overall, the average annual salaries in the NBA are much higher than in the WNBA. On average, NBA players take home more than eight million U.S. dollars every year, while WNBA players earn just three quarters of a million U.S. dollars on average each year.
The wage gap between NBA and WNBA stands out as one of the most prominent examples of this controversial gender wage gap issue and until NBA address this issue WNBA players will continue to earn less compared to NBA players.