WASHINGTON — Paul Pierce is opting out of the final year of his contract with the Wizards and will become a free agent Wednesday.

The veteran small forward signed a two-year deal with Washington last summer that included a reported $5.5 million player option for the 2015-16 season.

Pierce told the website The Player’s Tribune of his decision, and the Wizards confirmed his move Saturday.

The Wizards reached the Eastern Conference semifinals in Pierce’s first season with the team. Washington went 46-36, the franchise’s most victories since 1978-79, then swept the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the Atlanta Hawks in six games.

Pierce starred during the postseason with several clutch moments, including a jumper at the buzzer to beat the Hawks in Game 3.

He appeared to have made a game-tying 3-pointer in the final second of Game 6, but replay revealed the shot came after the buzzer.

Pierce averaged 11.9 points and 4.0 rebounds in 73 starts during the regular season.

He played his first 15 seasons with the Boston Celtics, winning an NBA championship in 2008, before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets before the 2013-14 season.

76ERS: Jahlil Okafor is a fan of Steph Curry and enjoyed watching the MVP lead the guard-heavy Golden State Warriors to an NBA championship.

He still thinks the best road to a title is through the big man.

That’s what makes the 6-foot-11 center out of Duke glad to join the Philadelphia 76ers, a team that already features young, potential stars Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid.

Okafor was the third overall pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night and one of five players the Sixers selected in an effort to rebuild.

“For as long as I remember, big men have dominated the NBA,” Okafor said at a news conference Saturday. “People got a little excited because of what Steph Curry did – and he was fantastic. But as long as I remember, big men have been dominating and the results have been championships.”

Okafor, who won a national title in his one season at Duke, looked up to two of the best championship-winning centers: Tim Duncan and Hakeem Olajuwon.

As post player who likes to play with his back to the basket, he borrowed many of their moves, too.

MAVERICKS: It is a rare day in India when basketball makes the front page of newspapers, yet Satnam Singh Bhamara achieved that feat when he became the first Indian to be drafted to the NBA this week.

The 7-foot-2 19-year-old was selected by the Dallas Mavericks and local media celebrated.

“Satnam Takes Giant Leap” read a headline in The Times of India on Saturday while the Hindustan Times carried a picture with the headline “Going Big.”

The Indian Express headline was “Hoop dreams: from Ludhiana to Dallas via NBA” as a correspondent reported from Bhamara’s village of Ballo Ke near the northern city of Ludhiana.

Television also featured interviews with his coach and family members who celebrated the achievement.

LAKERS: Larry Nance Jr. did not comment on a tweet he sent out in 2012 criticizing Kobe Bryant and his sexual assault case from 2003.

Nance, who was chosen No. 27 overall in the first round of the NBA draft by the Lakers, has since deleted the tweet from his Twitter feed.

The 6-foot-8, 235-pound forward becomes the second member of his family to be drafted in the first round. Larry Nance Sr. was the No. 20 overall pick by the Phoenix Suns in 1981 and played seven years for the Suns before being traded to Cleveland. He finished his career with eight years with the Cavaliers.

Nance Jr. became the first Wyoming men’s basketball player drafted in the first round in 20 years, since Theo Ratliff was picked No. 18 by Detroit in 1995.