Caitlin Clark, the star rookie of the Indiana Fever, missed out on a historic financial opportunity due to her agent’s actions, according to Ice Cube. The rapper and entrepreneur, who founded the BIG3 basketball league, revealed that Clark was offered a $5 million contract to play in the BIG3 for two years. The deal would have made Clark the highest-paid female basketball player, earning her $10 million in total.

Ice Cube confirmed the offer on The OG’s Podcast W/ Udonis Haslem & Mike Miller podcast, explaining that the contract would have allowed Clark to participate in eight regular-season games with the potential for two playoff games. The BIG3, known for its three-on-three basketball format, believed that Clark’s participation would significantly boost the league's visibility and attract a broader audience.

We offered her $5 million to play for two years, so she would’ve walked away with $10 (million), a little equity here and there but we knew it was a big step,” Ice Cube said. “Trying to play with the men at the professional level would’ve definitely opened up the minds of a lot of people, whether she was successful or not, who knows, but we think she could’ve been because we had small guards in our league.”

Ice Cube claims Caitlin Clark agent interference

However, the deal never materialized. Ice Cube suggested that Clark’s agents were the primary reason behind the failed negotiations. According to Ice Cube, the agents blocked the deal, preventing direct communication with Clark and her family. He speculated that the agents, who typically earn their commissions from NBA players rather than WNBA players, did not want to jeopardize their relationships within the professional basketball community.

“We believe her agents blocked it a little bit, we never got a chance to actually have a conversation with her and her family,” he said. “The agents really didn’t want to see that happen in our opinion. They make there money off of NBA players, not WNBA players.”

Clark’s current contract with the WNBA’s Indiana Fever amounts to $338,056 over four years. In contrast, the BIG3 offer was significantly more lucrative. However, Clark has secured a Nike deal worth $28 million over eight years, raising questions about whether she would have received this endorsement if she had accepted the BIG3 offer.

Scheduling flexibility for the WNBA rookie

Caitlin Clark
© Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ice Cube mentioned that the BIG3 was willing to accommodate Clark’s WNBA schedule, ensuring minimal conflicts. The league had only one game that clashed with the Fever’s schedule, and they were prepared to reschedule it to facilitate Clark’s participation in both leagues.

“During our season, we only had one game that was a conflict with the Fever, and we were willing to move that game so she’d been able to play in both,” Ice Cube said.

The BIG3’s offer was not just about the money; it was about breaking new ground. If Clark had joined, she would have been the first female player in the BIG3. The deal also came at a time when the BIG3 was involved in a legal battle with the NBA, which oversees the WNBA, adding another layer of complexity to the offer.

Kelsey Plum, astar of the Las Vegas Aces, highlighted the significance of the high-dollar offer.

“$5 million dollars is not something to just say, oh, you know, wave your arm at,” Plum said previously on the Pat McAfee Show. “I think that the BIG3 and the offers will continue to evolve and we’ll see.”