Caitlin Clark’s potential WNBA contract might come as a surprise, and not a positive one

Caitlin Clark, who holds the record as the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer, has announced that she will be entering the 2024 WNBA Draft.

Clark has decided to forgo a fifth year at the college level, which has led to speculation about a potential pay cut compared to what she currently earns through NIL deals.

Clark, the point guard for the Iowa Hawkeyes, was awarded an additional year after the COVID-19 pandemic impacted her freshman year and has built a roster of impressive endorsements.

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 22: Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes before the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on February 22, 2024 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Clark’s estimated NIL valuation is $3.5 million, ranking fourth behind Bronny James, Shedeur Sanders, and Livvy Dunne, according to On3 NIL.


Fans were shocked to learn that Caitlin Clark, one of the best college basketball players of all time, would potentially earn less than $80,000 in a WNBA rookie contract as the top pick. Despite this, fans are quick to point out that her jersey sales alone will most likely bring in millions for the professional team she joins.

Clark has stated that her major sponsors will not drop her when she turns pro, and it is likely that her deals will continue to grow as she advances to the next level, squashing the storyline that she will lose money going to the WNBA.

Who is Caitlin Clark?

Hawkeye’s college basketball star Caitlin Clark has set numerous records during her time in Iowa, including becoming the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer in men’s and women’s basketball by surpassing Pete Maravich’s record at LSU.

Caitlin Clark has declared for the 2024 WNBA Draft : r/CollegeBasketball

Clark has also surpassed AIAW all-time leader scorer, Lynette Woodard and NCAA’s women’s all-time leading scorer Kelsey Plum.

Clark is the first Iowa women’s basketball player to be named First Team All-Big Ten in four years, was named the consensus Big Ten Player of the Year by coaches and media.

Clark’s possible WNBA salary is shocking

In general, rookie contracts in the WNBA typically last for three years, with a team option for a fourth year.

The salary for rookies is determined by their draft position, and according to Spotrac salary ranges from $64,154 to $76,535 for the first year.

The salary increases by a little over $1,000 each year thereafter.

Caitlin Clark is expected to be the first overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft. In her first year, she would earn a base salary of approximately $76,000, with the possibility of earning additional incentives.

If she is named the WNBA Rookie of the Year, she would receive a bonus of $5,150. Additionally, if Clark is selected to participate in the All-Star game, she would earn an extra $2,575.


How much do WNBA players make?

According to Statista, there is a significant pay gap between NBA and WNBA players, with the highest paid player in the 2023 WNBA season, Erica Wheeler of the Indiana Fever, earning $242,000.

Arike Ogunbowale of the Dallas Wings comes in second with earnings of $234,000 followed by Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury also earning $234,000.

On average, NBA players make more than 10 million dollars every year compared to WNBA players who earn $116,000 a year.

Caitlin Clark’s NIL Deals

Caitlin Clark has signed a long list of deals with companies to use her name, image, and likeness. Clark has signed with the biggest names in sports appeal, electronics and even insurance. Here is the list of companies that have added the college basketball star to their roster.

Nike

Gatorade

Bose

State Farm

Buick

Hy-Vee

H&R Block

Topps

Shoot-A-Way

Goldman Sachs





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