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Will Catlin Clark do okay in the WNBA?
Glenn Mollette
Glenn Mollette

Caitlin Clark will do great in the WNBA. She can shoot, she can pass and she’s a savvy player.

Clark did what no one ever dreamed anyone would do and that was to score more points than Pistol Pete Maravich who played for LSU from 1967-70.  Maravich scored 3,667 total points at LSU and averaged 42.2 points per game for the tigers. 

Clark totaled 3,951 points .and averaged 30 points per game. Old-timers are quick to recall that Maravich did it before the day of the shot clock and the three-point line. Also, it was in a day when freshmen weren’t allowed to play on the varsity. Still, this does not take away from the incredible feat accomplished by Clark playing for the Iowa Hawkeyes.  

When Maravich signed with the Atlanta Hawks in 1970. He signed for $1.9 million which was the largest amount to be signed for by a college player at that time.

Clark will sign for $75,000 for her rookie season if she is picked number 1 according to WNBA pay cap structures. It doesn’t sound like much for the greatest women’s college basketball player of all time but she will make it up in endorsements. According to the NIL database, (name, image, likeness), Clark has already made $3.1 million during her college play. There will be more to come during her WNBA days. 

The WENBA is growing. ESPN recorded viewership of the women’s final four games of over 14 million for the semi-finals and over 18 million for the final game. Such interest will bring bigger dollars to the league in time. 

Clark may become the richest of the WNBA players. However, she may not catch up with Seth Curry of the Golden State Warriors whose team pay alone is $51.9 million a year. Or, Labron James who earns just over $47 million a year. Actually, the lowest paid players in the NBA are still making just a little over $1.6 million a year. Wait, whoever thought she would score such a massive number of points? Don’t rule her out on anything. 

Most of the WNBA players are making under $200, 000 a year from their team pay. 

Some pick up extra money from playing in other countries in the off season and from endorsements. 

Diana Taurasi has an estimated net worth is $3.5 million. Most of Diana’s earnings come from her endorsements with BODYARMOR and her deal with Nike to wear LeBron’s signature shoes. With an average salary of $234,936 and a contract until 2025, the number might just grow further.

Britney Griner is infamous for her prison sentence in Russia, and one of the most recognizable WNBA athletes in the world. Despite her imprisonment Griner still makes the list as one of the richest players in the WNBA. One of the tallest ever players Brittney has made most of her fortunes playing abroad. A common feature in the WNBA Griner was once paid $600,000 to play for a Chinese-based team for three months. Add to that her endorsements with Nike and you have an estimated net worth of $4 million. 

Sue Bird is the highest earning player in the history of the WNBA. Drafted in 2002, Bird has gone on to win four WNBA titles with three of them coming in three separate decades. With an estimated salary of $500,000 from various sources, the 13-time all-star also has multiple partnerships with huge brands. Representing the likes of Nike, State Farm and American Express it is no surprise that Sue Bird is the highest earning WNBA athlete of all time.

Catlin Clark may not attain the riches that most attain in the NBA, but she should do more than okay in the WNBA.

—  Dr. Glenn Mollette is an author and his column is published in over 600 publications in all 50 states.