Oldest WNBA Player: The 41-Year-Old Athlete Is Nearly the Highest-Paid in the League

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Guard Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury smiles with her teammates before a game

Diana Taurasi will be playing her 20th season in the WNBA when the 2024 season begins. The guard was the first player in WNBA history to reach a tally of 10,000 points and has successfully won three championships with the Phoenix Mercury. 

Taurasi is celebrated not just for her statistical accomplishments and talent on the court. The 41-year-old is also among the highest-paid and most “mature” in the WNBA.

Oldest WNBA player in 2023

Diana Taurasi has spent her entire basketball career with the Phoenix Mercury. During her time in Arizona, the 2009 WNBA MVP played a key role in the franchise winning the 2007, 2009, and 2014 WNBA Championships. In the 2023 season, Taurasi was only limited to 26 games (all starts), but she still managed to average 4.6 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 16.0 points per contest.

The Phoenix Mercury didn’t enjoy a successful season, with the team firing coach Vanessa Nygaard in June 2023. However, Taurasi still managed a respectable season, as shown by her season stats.

Across her career, Taurasi has an average of 4.3 assists, 19.1 points, and 3.9 rebounds per game. Her floor shooting rate is 42.6%, while her three-point shooting rate is 36.2%.

In addition to her time in the WNBA, Taurasi has dedicated significant amounts of her basketball career to overseas teams. By the time she retired from European competition in 2017, she’d won six EuroLeague championships (2007–2010, 2013, and 2016).

Diana Taurasi is also one of the highest-paid WNBA players

Diana Taurasi may be the oldest player in the WNBA, but she’s also a living legend who deserves to be well compensated. She ranks as the third highest-paid player in the WNBA.

Jackie Young is the highest-paid WNBA player, with an annual salary of approximately $252,450, reports Spotrac. During her two-year contract, the 25-year-old will earn $504,900. Apart from being a top-paid player, she’s also the highest-paid WNBA player in history. Young’s key role in the Las Vegas Aces’ 2020 championship victory didn’t go unnoticed, and that’s why she deserves every penny she earns.

The second-highest-paid WNBA player is Arike Ogunbowale, who plays for the Dallas Wings. Ogunbowale is among the most popular WNBA stars, and she’s only 26. She earns a yearly wage of $241,984. Over the three years of her contract, she will earn approximately $725,952. 

Diana Taurasi ranks third on the list, earning a yearly salary of $234,936. Over the two years of her contract, Taurasi is set to earn $469,872. It’s no surprise one of the Phoenix Mercury’s most loyal athletes and the oldest WNBA player is well-compensated. Taurasi intends to return for her 20th season with the team in 2024.

Youngest WNBA player

The youngest WNBA players are all age 21: Sika Koné, Jade Melbourne, and Aliyah Boston.

Boston enjoyed a smooth transition from college basketball to professional basketball. She became May’s Rookie of the Month after she averaged 5.6 rebounds and 14 points per game. Boston plays for the Indian Fever, averaging an efficiency rating of 26.6. 

Koné plays for the Chicago Sky, and the center has wasted little time in making a name for herself in the WNBA. Koné made her debut in the third game. Since then, she has averaged 11 minutes per game.

The Seattle Storm drafted Jade Melbourne in the 2022 season. The guard spent 2022 overseas, improving her game and gaining experience. In the 2023 season, she averaged 5.3 minutes and 14 minutes per game. She had a shooting percentage of 50% and a PER rating of 19.6, the second-best on the Storm.

Stats and figures courtesy of Pro Football Reference.