Check out what WNBA draft picked player Brittney Griner makes vs. what NBA draft picked player Anthony Bennett makes..
The 6-foot-8 center led the Baylor Bears to a 34-2 record during the 2012-13 season before being drafted No. 1 overall in the WNBA draft. A month-and-a-half after the draft, Griner was playing in her first WNBA game with the Phoenix Mercury. She helped lead the Mercury to the Western Conference Finals, with the team bowing out of the playoffs in late September.
One month after that, Griner arrived in China to begin a four-month stint in the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA). It was a grind, of course, but one that was a financial no-brainer.
While the Mercury could only pay Griner $49,440 in 2013, the WCBA’s Zhejiang Golden Bulls signed her for approximately $600,000, according to ESPN The Magazine. Even with a $1 million endorsement contract from Nike, that type of money is hard to turn down. That’s roughly six times more than the maximum salary in the WNBA.
Griner is far from the first star to spend her WNBA offseason in China, but now it is more clear of just how much the WCBA can offer. When Maya Moore, the top pick of the 2011 WNBA draft, signed with the WCBA’s Shangxu Xing Rui Flame, she said she would be getting “significantly more than double” her $47,000 rookie contract.
By comparison, consider Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 NBA draft, whose salary this season with the Cavaliers is $5.32 million. If he could have signed with a foreign team at the same rate, his salary would be $63.84 million.