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When Caitlin Clark suits up for her first professional game, she’ll instantly be one of the biggest draws in the WNBA.

The 22-year-old is one of the most talked-about names in American sports — she is now the owner of the top-selling jersey ever for a draft pick — but the sharpshooting guard won’t be paid like it by her team.

Despite a record-shattering college career and a no-doubt No. 1 overall selection by the Indiana Fever in this week’s WNBA draft, Clark’s salary her first season will be just over $76,000.

Clark’s pay will escalate over the course of her four-year rookie contract, leaving her with total earnings of $338,056.

And while her WNBA earnings this season may actually climb closer to $500,000 thanks to provisions allowing her to enter marketing and promotional agreements with her league and team, Clark’s pay pales in comparison to that of rookies from the nation’s more established sports leagues.

Though she has inked endorsement deals with Gatorade, State farm and is reportedly close to coming to terms with Nike on a deal worth more than $20 million, Clark’s WNBA pay is limited by the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

The WNBA has grown in popularity in recent years, but it still trails behind the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL. The highest paid WNBA player is Las Vegas Aces star Jackie Young, who will earn just over $250,000 this season. The NBA’s salary leader, meanwhile, is Steph Curry, who earned $51.9 million from the Golden State Warriors this year.

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert emphasized at the CNBC Changemakers Event this week that the league is making progress in catching up to men’s leagues that are “75 to 120 years old.”

“We’re tipping off our 28th season. I would say if you look at [the other leagues] 28 seasons in, we’re further ahead,” she said. “But we realize we still have a lot of work to do, and it’s all about the ecosystem around us that drives revenue.”

Here’s how Clark’s rookie deal stacks up against the most recent top picks from America’s big four sports leagues.

NBA Basketball: Victor Wembanyama

Victor Wembanyama poses with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted first overall by the San Antonio Spurs during the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft.

Sarah Stier | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

Team: San Antonio Spurs

Contract: 4 years, $55.1 million

Football: Bryce Young

Bryce Young poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected first overall by the Carolina Panthers during the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

David Eulitt | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

Team: Carolina Panthers

Contract: 4 years, $37.9 million

Baseball: Paul Skenes

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes. 

Diamond Images | Diamond Images | Getty Images

Team: Pittsburgh Pirates

Contract: $9.2 million

Hockey: Connor Bedard

Connor Bedard of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Michael Reaves | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

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