• Loading stock data...
Saturday, July 20, 2024
Join us this September for Tuned In Request to Attend

WNBA Draft a Major Moment in League’s Growth Trajectory

  • The WNBA Draft will see Aliyah Boston and other college stars join the growing league.
  • Eligibility rules prevent college stars such as Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese from entering.
South Carolina Gamecocks forward Aliyah Boston (4) drives to the basket against the Maryland Terrapins during the second half at the NCAA Women's Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The WNBA arrives on the coattails of a thrilling women’s March Madness — but its eligibility rules won’t allow the league to extend the tournament’s most popular narratives.

The Indiana Fever hold the first pick in tonight’s WNBA Draft and are expected to pick South Carolina superstar Aliyah Boston. But in many ways, the draft will be equally notable for the stars who won’t be there: Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and LSU’s Angel Reese aren’t eligible and will be returning to school.

Unlike the NBA — which allows players who will be at least 19 during the draft’s calendar year to enter — the WNBA requires players to be at least 22 or set to graduate from a four-year institution.

LSU forward Angel Reese celebrates after advancing to the NCAA Women's National Championship Final Four

LSU’s Angel Reese Leads NCAA Basketball In NIL Deals

The All-American has inked a total of 17 deals.
March 30, 2023

Salaries for rookie players are predetermined by draft position. 

  • The top four picks receive $72,141 each in their first years.
  • Nos. 5-8 earn $69,224.
  • The final four in the 12-pick first round earn $66,306.
  • All players selected in the second round earn $63,389.
  • Third-round and undrafted players earn $60,471 as rookies.

Asked on the Front Office Sports Today podcast what the biggest steps were to grow the league, New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu insisted on the importance of a smoother pipeline from college to the pros.

“Paying players more, more teams. There are only 12 teams … there needs to be expansion, and the opportunity for more players coming out of college to play at the professional level.”

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

An artistic rendering of the new proposed Everton stadium in Liverpool.

Déjà Vu: Everton Loses Takeover Bid From U.S. Investor

The Premier League club is back on the hunt for a new owner.

WNBA Appears Set to Extend Season to 44 Games in 2025

The Chicago Sky told season-ticket holders they ‘expect approval’ for change.

Loyal WNBA Fans Hit With Enormous Season-Ticket Price Hikes

Some season-ticket holders are seeing their prices doubled.

What the WNBA’s Windfall Could Mean for Player Salaries

The WNBA could hit its first million-dollar annual salary as soon as 2026.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

‘EA Sports College Football 25’: It’s More Than a Game

0:00

Featured Today

The Road to the Return of ‘EA Sports College Football’

This summer, the biggest development in college sports is virtual.
Apr 15, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Caitlin Clark poses with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected with the number one overall pick to the Indiana Fever during the 2024 WNBA Draft at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
July 16, 2024

Women’s Sports Merch Is a $4 Billion Market, but Supply Isn’t Meeting Demand

Retailers can’t make women’s sports apparel fast enough.
Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at Nissan Stadium.
July 14, 2024

Without Hard-Line Bans, Pro Athletes and Personnel Will Keep Betting on Sports

Penalties often aren’t stringent or consistent enough to deter banned behavior.
Oct 2, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goddell speaks during the Don Shula Celebration of Life at Hard Rock Stadium.
July 13, 2024

The NFL Is Confident It Can Overturn the Sunday Ticket Verdict

The league may have good reason to believe it can win.

Open Championship CEO Raises Alarm Over Golf’s Financial Future

The Open Championship is offering a record $17 million purse.
July 17, 2024

NBA’s Blockbuster Rights Deal Faces Uncertainty, Potential Legal Threats

League commissioner Adam Silver says many of the next steps are ‘out of my control.’
July 18, 2024

MLB Attendance and Ratings on the Rise at Midway Point

MLB will enter the season’s second half with gains in attendance and national TV viewership.
Sponsored

TopSpin 2K25 Brings the Legends of Tennis to Your Living Room

2K sports is reviving a classic with TopSpin 2K25.
July 17, 2024

Pulling Back the Curtain on the NFL’s $25 Billion Revenue Dream

NFL teams received $402.3 million in payments from the league.
July 17, 2024

A ‘Seismic Shift’ for Women’s Sports: WNBA Lands $2.2 Billion Rights Deal

ESPN, Amazon, and NBC will pay the WNBA $200 million annually.
July 17, 2024

Angel City FC Sale Official at Record $250 Million Valuation

Disney CEO Bob Iger and wife Willow Bay now control the club.
July 16, 2024

Manfred ‘Comfortable’ With A’s Move to Vegas Despite Funding Hurdles

Rob Manfred continues to back A’s owner John Fisher, even as concerns grow in Las Vegas and Sacramento.