The WNBA has experienced a great deal of stability in recent time. The league has held the same twelve teams since 2010 when the Detroit Shock moved to Tulsa. However, there is a real concern in the WNBA surrounding player salaries. This especially comes amid one big-name player skipping the coming 2015 season as a means of making more money elsewhere.
In 2015, the WNBA's maximum salary will be capped at $109,500. This is a total that pales in comparison with what other teams are giving out overseas. In fact, at least five players on each WNBA team played in Europe, Asia or the Middle East in the 2013-14 offseason as a means of potentially getting more money.
The money that these players are getting is dramatically greater than what they are getting in the WNBA. For instance, Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner got about $50,000 last year. Meanwhile, she earned about $600,000 playing for a professional women's team in China during the offseason.
The biggest concern by far comes from how one major star in the WNBA has decided to skip playing in the WNBA altogether in 2015. The Mercury's Diana Taurasi will be playing in Russia for the season instead. Whereas she would normally get the league maximum in salary in the WNBA, she will be paid about $1.5 million to play in Russia this coming year.
In addition, the maximum salary cap of a WNBA team is only $900,000. This only makes it harder for a team to actually pay its players more.
This is going to end up creating a major concern over time as to what the WNBA can do in order to pay its players more money. The fact that so many foreign leagues are willing to pay WNBA stars several times more money just to play with them could end up harming the status of the WNBA as the best players will flock elsewhere while the domestic league begins to struggle.