Brittney Griner’s Return Has WNBA Considering Financial Changes For Players

WNBA star Brittney Griner

Getty Image / Mario Tama

The WNBA is certainly growing still, as it’s reaching new heights during the 2023 season.

One aspect that’s bringing more attention to the league is the return of Brittney Griner.

It’s her first time in action since being detained in Russia. And now, due Griner’s return to the league, the WNBA is considering making some economic changes.

According to Front Office Sports, the WNBA is considering making changes to pay players better so they don’t feel it’s necessary to play overseas.

Here’s what WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert had to say about it.

“They’re going to have to decide that for themselves. We’re never going to tell players what to do or not do during their free time in the offseason. They’ll make [that decision] with their family, their agent, as to what they want to do in the offseason.”

She continued to claim, “We’re building a real long-term financial, economic model that I think will make a great Harvard Business Review case study in four, five years. But we need a little more time to deploy that capital, grow the league, and get the right-sized valuation of our media rights.”

Engelbert hopes that, “with all the bonuses, prize pools, and then they win an MVP, they could make money here for four, five months of work. Then they could do other stuff in the offseason without necessarily going overseas.”

So, as it turns out, Brittney Griner’s situation in Russia may lead to a silver lining for the rest of the WNBA.

As Cathy Engelbert suggests, it’s going to take several years before the WNBA reaches its goal.

Even so, this is a potential first step in the right direction in making the league more legitimate.