Caitlin Clark’s Shockingly Low WNBA Base Salary Is Revealed

Melanie Fidler/NBAE via Getty Images
Melanie Fidler/NBAE via Getty Images

Caitlin Clark is making how much?!

On Monday, the college basketball superstar was selected No. 1 overall in Monday’s WNBA draft by the Indiana Fever, a celebratory moment for the star which has now been punctuated by news of a shockingly paltry paycheck.

Clark will be paid a base salary of $338,056 over the next four years, a number which is easily dwarfed by even the one year salaries of her male counterparts.

Victor Wembanyama, the No.1 draft pick in the NBA was set to make $55 million in his first four years, and $12.1 million in his first year alone. By comparison Clark, and other draft picks 2-4, will only pocket $76,535 in their first year, according to the WNBA’s collective bargaining agreement.

The blatant discrepancy is unfortunately nothing new, as channels like ESPN have never had to pay much to stream women’s basketball. According to SportsPro Media, the WNBA has an annual broadcast revenue of $60 million, as opposed to the NBA’s $2.7 billion.

Players’ pay discrepancy reflects that. In 2023, the average WNBA player was paid a base salary of $113,295, while the average NBA player was paid a base salary of $9.7 million, according to Vox. Clark still stands to make millions of dollars from endorsements, and as she and her fellow star athletes raise the profile of women’s sports it’s entirely possible the payouts will increase.

Still, the small salary has dismayed those who have followed Clark throughout her season, as she has sold out stadiums and been a tour-de-force on the court.

“This can’t be right,” said Today show host Hoda Kotb, who expressed her own disappointment and confusion over the lame base salary during her show on Tuesday.

“I was imagining the little girls with the signs who were filling the stadium, who are now obsessed with basketball, with signs that say Caitlin, and society, I guess, is saying well, this is what that’s worth,” said Hoda, sighing.

“Honestly the gap is so jarring,” said co-host Jenna Bush Hager. “We’re talking about equal pay. That ain’t even close.”

Russel Wilson, quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers posted about Clark’s salary on X on Monday. “These ladies deserve so much more… Praying for the day,” he wrote.

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