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Cheryl Reeve says new WNBA players' contract is 'incredible'

The new contract will take salaries to the next level, and offer other benefits to players sought for years.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — The deal announced Tuesday morning by the WNBA and the league’s players’ association was significant, it’s a contract that will take salaries to the next level, and offer other benefits to players sought for years.

So, what did Minnesota Lynx GM and Head Coach Cheryl Reeve have to say about it?

Here’s a q&a between Coach Reeve and Jana Shortal.

JANA: Is this a good deal?

REEVE: I think it’s an incredible deal. In this deal we all win, obviously women (do) but society wins in the ways we are empowering women and in how we treat women.

JANA: In terms of salary, there are increases?

REEVE: That’s what is significant, it’s not just the top players (who will be able, with marketing partnerships to make more than $500,000 per year) - the average player is going to be over six figures in salary. That’s about a 40% increase.

JANA: What does it mean, marketing partnerships, for top tier players to make that highest end money?

REEVE: Some of the top tier players will have a chance to be compensated by the league to go to work on their behalf. All that means is greater engagement from corporate sponsorships and greater visibility. That is how you grow the business (of the WNBA).

JANA: The new CBA makes the WNBA priority one, what does WNBA prioritization mean when it comes to players choosing to play overseas?

REEVE: Players tire of the year round nature of playing pro ball, it takes years off a pro career and now that choice can be made as to whether they would choose that path.

This is really more about hey if you choose to play in a certain country and that country plays until May (later in May) you aren’t eligible to play in the WNBA so you are going to have to make your choice.

*The new provision will be brought in gradually, it will take time for players to make this choice, and not all overseas teams require a commitment that spills into the WNBA training season.

JANA: The players in the union talked online about this deal being about a bigger picture?

REEVE: The amount of thought that went into how they could impact the future of the game (was big). Oftentimes when players get into this they think about themselves. How does this benefit me now? This group went far beyond that and have laid a foundation that is going to be meaningful for a long time to come.

JANA: Is this CBA a step in the right direction?

REEVE: It’s an incredible step in right direction and that’s the thing about this, it’s not just they make more money, no, it’s how we are going to treat women. I think it’s just a tremendous time, investing in women will prove to be a fruitful venture.

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