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Brittney Griner joins ranks of WNBA stars taking pay cuts in 2023

Breanna Stewart and Brittney Griner are among the players who have taken salary cuts to help their teams in 2023. (Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)

WNBA players are taking pay cuts for the 2023 season to help their teams.

When top stars agree to deals well below the league maximum, their teams can bolster their rosters through other signings. The latest example came Saturday in Brittney Griner, who made close to the maximum in the last three seasons but signed at a steep discount for the upcoming season, Her Hoop Stats reported.

These deals highlight the limits the WNBA salary cap places on players and teams. The cap stands at $1,420,500 for the 2023 season.

For example, prized free agent Breanna Stewart took “substantially less” money from the New York Liberty in order to create a superteam, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported in early February. She signed for $175,000 — significantly less than the $234,936 supermax for 2023.

Brionna Jones, who received a qualifying supermax offer, opted instead to sign with the Connecticut Sun for $208,000. In her move to the Las Vegas Aces, Candace Parker took a pay cut of nearly six figures, from $195,000 down to $100,000.

And then there’s Griner, who signed a one-year deal with Phoenix worth $165,100. According to Her Hoop Stats, the deal was calculated to leave the Mercury with enough money for two vet and two base minimums to fill out their roster.