10 Highest Paid WNBA Players!! The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is the premier professional basketball league in the United States for women.
Each year, the league attracts some of the top basketball talents worldwide.
There are only a handful of female basketball players who earn more than $200K per season & have earned the spot as top-paid WNBA players.
Even if the WNBA may be behind in terms of popularity and payrolls when compared to the NBA, it’s gained more attention & recognition in recent years.
This also means higher salaries for women basketball stars.
And with the thriving interest in women’s basketball, it is likely that their revenue could go higher in the coming days.
It’s worth noting that these salaries are subject to change based on various factors such as team budgets, individual performance, and contract negotiations.
Nevertheless, these athletes are some of the best players in the league and have significantly contributed to the growth and success of women’s basketball.
Let’s get into more detail about the top 10 highest-paid WNBA players of 2023, and here are some quick facts.
Note: The rankings are based on the base salary of the 2023 WNBA season (not the average annual salary from the contract).
|Rank||Players Name||Current Team||Salary|
|10||Brionna Jones||Connecticut Sun||$208,000|
|9||Jonquel Jones||New York Liberty||$211,150|
|8||Alyssa Thomas||Connecticut Sun||$212,000|
|7||Natasha Howard||New York Liberty||$227,900|
|6||Elena Delle Donne||Washington Mystics||$234,350 (tie)|
|5||Skylar Diggins-Smith||Phoenix Mercury|
|4||DeWanna Bonner||Phoenix Mercury|
|3||Jewell Loyd||Seattle Storm||$234,936 (tie)|
|2||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury|
|1||Arike Ogunbowale||Dallas Wings|
10. Brionna Jones
Brionna Jones has been the power forward for the Connecticut Sun since 2017. The Suns drafted her as the 8th overall pick in the 2017 WNBA draft.
An alumnus of the University of Maryland, Jones’ annual salary stands at $208,000 for the 2023 season after signing a one-year deal on February 13, 2023.
The pay figure ranks her #10 among the highest-paid WNBA players. It was a jump from #52 in the 2022 season with a salary of $120,000.
The 27 years old also plays for the USK Prague of the Czech Women’s Basketball League.
The 2021 WNBA Most Improved Player appeared in four WNBA playoffs with the Sun but didn’t manage to win any WNBA title. In the 2022 WNBA Finals, they lost to Las Vegas Aces in the finale.
9. Jonquel Jones
In our list, the ninth highest-paid WNBA player is Bahamian-Bosnian basketball star Jonquel Jones, who currently plays power forward for New York Liberty.
Signed on a two-year contract worth $416,150 with Connecticut Sun, she played only one season (2021 season) with the team before her trade to NY Liberty.
The rest of her contract amount will be paid by Liberty, which earns her a base salary of $211,150 in the 2023 season.
She was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks as the sixth overall pick in the 2016 WNBA draft but was traded to the Connecticut Sun before the start of the season.
Jones quickly established herself as one of the top players in the WNBA, earning All-Star honors in 2017 and 2019.
In addition to her WNBA career, Jones has played professionally overseas in Russia, Turkey, and China.
8. Alyssa Thomas
Along with her WNBA career feats, Alyssa is often in highlights for her relationship. Openly a lesbian, Thomas is currently in a relationship with fellow Connecticut Sun player DeWanna Bonner.
The 30 years old basketball star plays for the WNBA team Connecticut Sun (2014- now) & Czech women’s basketball club USK Praha (2018- now).
In the 2022 WNBA season, she ranked #11 among the most-earning WNBA figure with an annual salary of $206,000.
And for the 2023 season, her payroll of $212,000 saw her an entry into the eighth place- thanks to the four-year $836,000 contract that runs through the 2024 season.
The fourth overall pick of the Sun in the 2014 WNBA draft is the only WNBA player to get four triple-doubles.
In Game 4 of the 2022 WNBA Finals against the Aces, she managed her fourth triple-double & also became the first-ever to record such a feat in the finals with 16 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists.
7. Natasha Howard
Ever since Natasha Howard stepped into the WNBA as the 5th overall pick of the Indiana Fever in the 2014 WNBA Draft, she has seen frequent moves with different teams.
But those trades won’t stop her from earning lucrative contracts, whose credit solely goes to her impressive games. She is the three-time WNBA champion (2017, 2018 & 2020).
On January 16, 2023, Howard was traded to Dallas Wings from the Liberty as a part of a three-team trade.
And now, the Wings will pay her an annual base salary of $227,900; it is the 7th most-earned salary in the 2023 WNBA season.
Throughout her career, the 1.88 m tall WNBA star has played for Minnesota Lynx, Seattle Storm, and New York Liberty.
In the last two seasons (2021 & 2022) with the Liberty, she earned a salary of $215,000 and $221,400, respectively.
Some of her other accolades include a two-time WNBA All-Star, 2019 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, and two-time WNBA All-Defensive First Team.
6. Elena Delle Donne
The American-born Elen Delle Donne ties with Skylar Diggins-Smith & DeWanna Bonner for the fourth position in our list of the highest-paid WNBA player.
Though, she seems sixth in the chronological order of our list.
A small forward for Washington Mystics, Donne signed one of the richest contracts in the WNBA on February 11, 2020, which was worth $899,480 for four years. It averaged her annual salary of $224,870.
In the 2023 season, the two times WNBA MVP pockets a salary of $234,350.
The 33 years old was selected by the Chicago Sky as the 2nd overall pick in the 2013 WNBA draft.
After playing for three seasons with the Sky, they traded her to the Washington Mystics & played on a three-year $345,000 contract from 2017 to 2020.
With the Mystics, she lifted the WNBA Finals trophy in 2019, where she was the scoring leader with 19.5 points per game, with a total of 67 points in 5 games.
Delle Donne is the first WNBA player to join the 50-40-90 club.
5. Skylar Diggins-Smith
The Phoenix Mercury point guard Skylar Diggins-Smith’s salary for the 2023 season is $234,350, which places her among the highest-paid WNBA players in 2023.
She ties the fourth rank with DeWanna Bonner (of Connecticut Sun) and Elena Delle Donne (of Washington Mystics).
All three of them had signed a respective four-year contract worth $899K in February 2020 & are in the final year of their deals.
She was selected by the Tulsa Shock as the third overall pick in the 2013 WNBA draft and played for the team for four seasons before being traded to the Dallas Wings in 2017.
In 2020, she inked a deal with Phoenix Mercury after the Wings traded her to acquire rights for first-round picks in the 2020 & 2021 WNBA Draft.
The six times WNBA All-Star made four visits to the WNBA playoffs but failed to get the WNBA Finals title.
But, she did aid the United States national women’s basketball team in winning the gold medal in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
4. DeWanna Bonner
On our list of highest-paid WNBA players, American-Macedonian basketball player DeWanna Bonner is in the top four.
With a salary of $234,350 in 2023, she shares the ranking with Delle Donne & Diggins-Smith, as mentioned above.
If no contract extensions are offered, DeWanna will become a free agent after the 2023 WNBA season.
But her free agency seems less likely as many are eying to secure the two-time NBA champion in their team.
An attendant of Auburn University, Bonner is active professionally for more than a decade after being the fifth overall pick of Phoenix Mercury in the 2009 WNBA Draft.
In the past three seasons (from 2020 to 2022), she made a total of $664K.
Throughout her WNBA career of 13 years, DeWanna Bonner appeared in 12 playoffs- missing only in 2013.
The six times WNBA All-Star also plays for the Turkish basketball team Çukurova Basketbol (2021- now).
3. Jewell Loyd
The Lincolnwood, Illinois-born basketball player Jewell Loyd is chronologically third in our list but has the highest WNBA salary figure shared with the other two players: Diana Taurasi & Arike Ogunbowale.
On February 1, 2022, Loyd signed a two-year contract worth $463K with Seattle Storm.
The 2023 WNBA season is the final year of her aforementioned deal, which will earn her a base salary of $234,936- the most earned in 2023 (unless a new deal arrives).
In the 2015 WNBA Draft, she became the first overall pick of the Seattle Storm & is playing for the team ever since.
With the Seattle Storm, she won NBA Championship twice (in 2018 & 2020).
On August 14, 2022, she scored a career-high 38 points in a loss to Las Vegas Aces.
Besides WNBA, she is a professional basketball player for Perfumerias Avenida of Spain’s Liga Femenina de Baloncesto.
2. Diana Taurasi
Diana Taurasi, who is currently 40, played 18 WNBA seasons with the completion of the 2022 season.
Since 2020, she is consecutively the highest-paid WNBA player.
Her salary for the 2023 WNBA season is $234,936, which is the same as the other two top contenders: Jewell Loyd & Arike Ogunbowale.
Ever since Taurasi became the first overall pick of Phoenix Mercury in the 2004 WNBA Draft, she has played entirely with the team.
Even more, she won two WNBA championships with the team.
With the two-year deal with Phoenix Mercury, she will play yet another year in the 2024 WNBA season.
She has five Olympic gold medals: 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing, 2012 London, 2016 Rio de Janeiro, and 2020 Tokyo.
Taurasi is among only 11 women to have won Olympic gold medals, an NCAA championship, a FIBA World Cup gold, and a WNBA championship.
1. Arike Ogunbowale
Arike Ogunbowale, who is a point guard for Dallas Wings, shares the rank of highest-paid WNBA players in 2023 with Diana Taurasi & Jewell Loyd.
Until the 2022 WNBA season, she was not even in the top 70 in terms of earnings. In 2022, she reportedly earned $72,141.
After signing a three-year extension worth $725,952 with Dallas Wings on February 2, 2022, Arike entered the highest-earners club.
According to the deal, her base salary in the 2023 WNBA season is $234,936. It will go up to $241,984 in the 2024 season & $249,032 in the 2025 season.
The Wings picked Ogunbowale as the fifth overall in the 2019 WNBA draft.
In comparison to others on the list, she may have a lesser experience, but her expertise is on par with the veteran basketball players.
She has numerous accolades, including the 2019 NCAA women’s basketball tournament Most Outstanding Player and the WNBA All-Rookie Team in 2019.
So, this concludes our list of the ten highest-paid WNBA players, primarily on the basis of base salary.
The top 10 highest-paid WNBA players for the 2023 season include some of the most talented and accomplished athletes in the league, such as Arike Ogunbowale, Jonquel Jones, Diana Taurasi, and Skylar Diggins-Smith.
These players have contributed to the success of their respective teams and helped elevate the profile of women’s basketball as a whole.
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