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Pierce to opt out, become unrestricted free agent

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ESPN.com is reporting Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce(notes) has notified the team he will opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent. Pierce’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, told ESPN.com in a text message late Tuesday the NBA All-Star forward will forfeit next season’s $21.5 million salary for a chance to sign a new four-year deal worth more than $90 million. Schwartz did not immediately respond to a voicemail left by the AP. Pierce would become an unrestricted free agent and join a loaded group of NBA stars, including LeBron James(notes) and Dwyane Wade(notes), who could be on the move starting on Thursday. E-mail from the AP to Celtics owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca were not immediately returned.

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