INDIANAPOLIS — As was widely expected, the Indiana Fever selected Iowa standout Caitlin Clark with the No. 1 overall pick in Monday’s WNBA Draft.

Soon after Clark walked across the draft stage in Brooklyn, New York, basketball fans took to social media to discuss what her first professional contract might looks like.

According to Spotrac, a media outlet that specifically focuses on pro sports contracts, Clark’s first WNBA deal could be worth up to $338,056 over the course of four years.

College basketball’s all-time leading scorer stands to make up to $76,535 in her first season. Here’s a year-by-year breakdown of what Spotrac projects Clark’s contract to be:

  • 2024: $76,535
  • 2025: $78,066
  • 2026: $85,873
  • 2027: $97,582

Clark’s contract figures don’t count other money-making opportunities the WNBA provides its players. The league has been known to give select athletes the opportunity to make money via Player Marketing Agreements (PMAs).

Per the Associated Press, WNBA players can make up to $250,000 each via PMAs. Athletes who receive PMAs serve as brand ambassadors for the WNBA and its partners like Skims and Google.

In addition to Player Marketing Agreements she may receive, Clark has numerous brand deals of her own. Among the major companies Clark has worked with are Nike, Gatorade, Xfinity, Buick, State Farm, Hy-Vee and Gainbridge.

While it is unknown exactly how much Clark makes off of her brand deals, some outlets have provided estimates.

On3 projected that Clark’s publicly known name, image and likeness (NIL) deals could be worth north of $3 million.

After Clark’s rookie contract expires, she can negotiate with teams for a higher salary. According to Sporting News, WNBA supermax contracts can be worth up to $241,984 in 2024.

WNBA players typically become eligible to receive supermax contracts after their fifth season in the league, per ESPN.

For reference, Spotrac estimates that, in 2022-23, the NBA rookie minimum salary was $953,000. NBA supermax contracts for veterans who have been in the league for more than 10 years can be worth up to 35% of a team’s salary cap. Spotrac reported that the NBA cap maximum sat around $136 million in 2023-24.

In the past, WNBA players have been known to play abroad to make money during the WNBA offseason. Other athletes, like the Fever’s Aliyah Boston, have used the WNBA offseason to be television commentators or studio hosts for college games.

Some WNBA players have accepted collegiate coaching jobs during the winter, according to the Washington Post.

The NBA launched the WNBA in 1996, and the WNBA’s franchises were later sold to NBA owners or other third-parties in 2002.

Front Office Sports estimated that the WNBA pulled in around $200 million in 2023. Statista data indicates NBA revenue topped $10 billion last year.

Clark could change the financial picture for the WNBA with the viewership she has been known to attract. Iowa’s NCAA Tournament matchups with LSU and South Carolina this year both drew more than 9 million viewers.

This year’s national championship game between Iowa and South Carolina registered more than 18 million viewers, according to Nielsen data.

Game 4 of last year’s WNBA Finals is the most-watched WNBA game on record. The contest drew 889,000 viewers, per the Sports Business Journal.

Clark will make her WNBA debut on May 3 during a preseason game against the Dallas Wings. She’ll play her first regular season game on May 14.

Clark will make her home debut on May 16 as the Fever host the New York Liberty at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

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