Paul Pierce to Opt out of Contract Wednesday

Add one more marquee name to the most anticipated free-agent class in NBA history: Paul Pierce.

Sources close to the situation told that Pierce has notified the Boston Celtics that he will opt out of the final year of his contract before Wednesday's deadline to do so, which will make Pierce an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.

By opting out, Pierce will forfeit next season's $21.5 million salary but becomes eligible to sign a new four-year deal with the Celtics worth a maximum of $96 million and can receive four-year offers from other teams worth a maximum $93 million.

It is unlikely Pierce would receive a contract longer than four years, because a fifth season would begin when Pierce was 37 and -- under the league's over-36 rule -- would have costly salary cap implications for any team signing him.

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