The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the players in the WNBA and the teams they play for is entering its final year in 2013. Clearly spelled out in the CBA are the salaries that WNBA players can earn in the 2013 season.
The salaries I'm showing here are just for the WNBA. Most of the women basketball players who play in the WNBA also play overseas, where they often earn higher salaries than they get in the WNBA.
The salaries listed here also do not include any endorsement money players can earn on their own. In addition, players will also receive meal money of $74 per day when on the road for the 2013 season. Players can also earn bonus money playing in the WNBA, and that is also clearly spelled out in the CBA, and listed here at the end.
Before I get started with the individual salaries for WNBA players, the CBA also clearly spells out the maximum and minimum total amounts of money each team can and must spend on players salaries. Each WNBA team in the 2013 season must spend at least $869,000 on players salaries, and cannot spend more than $913,000.
WNBA salaries for the 2013 season
- Maximum amount a WNBA player can earn in salary in 2013
The maximum salary a player can earn in the WNBA for the 2013 season is $107,000. In order to earn the maximum salary, a player must have six or more years of service in the WNBA.
For players with less than six years of service, the most they can be paid in salary for the 2013 season is $105,000.
- Minimum amount a WNBA player must be paid in the 2013 season
In addition to maximum salary amounts, the CBA also spells out the minimum salaries that WNBA players must be paid in 2013. Players with less than three years of service must be paid at least $37,950. Players with three or more years of service must be paid at least $55,000 for the 2013 season.
The WNBA pays players based upon where they were taken in the WNBA Draft for their first four years in the league. The first four players taken in the WNBA Draft must be paid a minimum of $48,470 as rookies, $49,440 in their second year, $54,384 in their third year, and $61,800 in their fourth year.
Players drafted with the 5th through eighth picks in the first round must be paid $44,835 as rookies, $45,732 in the second year, $50,305 in the third years, and $57,165 in the fourth year.
Players taken in the rest of the first round must be paid $39,998 as rookies, $40,788 in the second year, $44,867 in the third year, and $50,985 in the fourth year.
Players taken in the second and third rounds, along with free agents who were not drafted but make a WNBA team, are paid a sliding scale lower than those listed above for first round picks.
Bonus money WNBA players can earn in 2013
In addition to their salaries, WNBA players can earn bonus money based upon how their teams do in the playoffs, and for individual achievements like winning awards, making the all-star game, and being named to the all-WNBA teams. Here's a quick breakdown of the bonus money WNBA players can earn in 2013.
- Bonus money for winning the WNBA championship
Players on the team that wins the WNBA championship will each receive a bonus of $10,500 in 2013.
- Bonus money for making the playoffs
Players from WNBA teams that make the playoffs but lose in the first round will each earn a bonus of $1,050. Players from teams that win in the first round but lose in the semifinals will each earn $2,625. Players from the team that loses in the WNBA Finals will each receive $5,250.
The playoff and championship bonus money is not cumulative, players are only paid the bonuses listed for each round they advance to.
- Bonus money for winning awards
The WNBA player who wins the MVP award earns a bonus of $15,000, the highest bonus any WNBA player can earn. Players who win the Defensive Player of the Year, Sportsmanship, Rookie of the Year, and Most Improved Player of the Year awards each get a bonus of $5,000.
Players can earn multiple bonuses for awards, like the MVP could also be the Defensive Player of the Year. In that case, the player would earn bonuses of $20,000 ($15,000 for the MVP and $5,000 for Defensive Player of the Year). In the event that there are co-winners of an award, both co-winners will be paid the full amount listed for each award.
- Bonus money for playing in the all-star game
Each player in the WNBA All-Star game receives a bonus of $2,500.
- Bonus money for being voted to all-WNBA teams
Players at the end of the season who are voted to the all-WNBA First Team each receive a bonus of $10,000. Players voted onto the all-WNBA Second Team each receive a bonus of $5,000.