How Much WNBA Star Caitlin Clark Makes Compared to Her Male Peers

Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark is a recently minted professional basketball player for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever. She made headlines and highlight reels throughout her college career, and by the time she left she was the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer across men’s and women’s basketball.

Clark’s success has given new life to women’s basketball, shining a spotlight on the fact that it's historically much less popular and lucrative than the men’s game—and setting the stage for that to, at last, change.

Here’s a look at Clark’s current net worth, how much she stands to make on the court and how that compares to top players in the NBA.

How did Caitlin Clark get her start?

Caitlin Clark grew up in a family of athletes and started playing basketball as a young child. She spent those early days competing against her two brothers, and by grade school she’d advanced so quickly that her parents signed her up to play on boys’ teams.

Although she never won a high-school title, Clark did earn two gold medals at the international level with the USA Under 16 and U19 teams. She was named Gatorade National Player of the Year as a junior after averaging 32.6 points per game, and in one game that season scored 60.

“I remember thinking, ‘How in the world can somebody score 60 points in a high school basketball game?’" Clark’s former rival (and later teammate), Megan Meyer, told USA Today.

By then, Clark was already known for her deep 3-pointers—sometimes called “logo 3s”—that not many players can match, men or women. She had a sharp, aggressive play style that had women’s college basketball programs from all around the country knocking down her door.

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Where did Caitlin Clark go to college?

After considering Notre Dame, Iowa and Iowa State, Clark, a Des Moines native, chose to go to the University of Iowa.

Though she undoubtedly would’ve been a star at any school, this choice led to her breakout as a dominant D-I scorer and national subject of interest—the player who put women’s basketball on the map.

Clark scored 3,951 points in 139 college games, breaking a 54-year record to become the D-1 all-time leading scorer. She averaged 31.6 points per game her senior year and 28.4 points overall. In the 2023 national championship game, which Iowa lost to LSU, it was because of Clark that a record 9.9 million viewers tuned in to watch. An April game against LSU averaged 12.3 million viewers, making it the most-watched women’s college basketball game in history and surpassing the viewership for any other sports game aside from the NFL this past year.

What is Caitlin Clark's net worth in 2024?

Seeing as she just started her WNBA career, Clark’s net worth is hard to pin down, but not totally unknown. One source estimates it at $3.8 million. This seems to be fairly accurate given that Clark’s last NIL valuation—which measures college athletes’ value based on their name, image and likeness (NIL)—was $3.4 million. Add that to her four-year contract with the Indiana Fever and it comes out to about $3.7 to $3.8 million.

What is Indiana Fever paying Caitlin Clark?

The Indiana Fever drafted Clark first overall in the 2024 WNBA draft. This entitled her to more money than the average WNBA rookie, totaling $338,000 over four years.

Here’s the yearly breakdown of that contract:

  • 2024: $76,535

  • 2025: $78,066

  • 2026: $85,873

  • 2027: $97,582

Clark has some opportunities to increase her income.

One is through the WNBA itself. The league has been known to offer Player Marketing Agreements (PMAs) to special players, which will essentially make them brand ambassadors for the WNBA and its partners. The pay for signing a PMA is up to $250,000.

In addition, Clark has already signed endorsement deals with big brands such as Nike and Wilson Sporting Goods Co., and in college was partnered with Gatorade, Bose, State Farm and more. The millions she’s not making in salary will likely come to her through endorsements such as these.

Still, the starting numbers from contract her may be disappointing when you compare them to salaries from other sports, particularly on the men’s side.

What is Nike paying Caitlin Clark?

Nike, which inked an NIL deal with Clark in 2022, appears to be refreshing its association with the star basketball player. A pending deal between the two parties is reportedly worth $28 million over eight years, and includes a signature shoe.

If it goes through, this would be the most lucrative sponsorship contract signed by any women’s basketball player in history.

How much does Caitlin Clark's WNBA salary compare to an NBA salary?

Although she has the potential to make much more through endorsements and other agreements, Clark’s WNBA salary doesn’t come anywhere close to NBA pay. Especially considering the fact that Clark was drafted at No. 1 overall and is already considered one of the best in the game.

In her first year, the Fever will pay Clark a total of $76,535. According to Statista, the average NBA salary for the 2023-24 season was over $10 million. What’s more, the NBA sets a league minimum salary each year, which is currently more than $1.1 million.

When you look at Clark’s salary compared to top NBA players the difference is even more egregious. Steph Curry, who plays for the Golden State Warriors, made nearly $52 million for the 2023-24 season and is set to make $55.76 million during the 2024-25 season.

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Who is the highest-paid WNBA player?

In 2024, Jackie Young, who plays guard for the Las Vegas Aces, is the top-earning player in the WNBA. Her back-to-back championships helped secure a two-year contract extension worth $504,900, for an annual salary of $252,450.

Who is the lowest-paid WNBA player?

Multiple players across the WNBA make the league's lowest salary level, which comes to $64,154 per year, according to Business Insider. This salary is paid to rookies who are drafted in later rounds and haven’t proven themselves valuable players yet. However, many WNBA players, including Clark, stand to make much more as veterans of the league and especially if they play on winning teams.

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