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Who benefits most from Paul Pierce's exit?

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Maddie Meyer

Mike Mazzeo gives up a two-fer Wednesday, a story on what Paul Pierce meant to the Nets and who's likely to benefit from his departure.

Starting his comments in the off-season about how his hatred for the Knicks had increased to his famous "that's why they brought me here, that's why I'm here" in the playoffs, Pierce was not just a leader. One league source told NetsDaily he was "the unquestioned leader" of the team.

Replacing him there will be more difficult than replacing him on the court.  Mazzeo details how each of five Nets -- Mason Plumlee, Mirza Teletovic, Andrei Kirilenko, Bojan Bogdanovic and Alan Anderson -- could become more of a factor with Pierce in Washington.

Mazzeo doesn't predict who will start in Pierce's place but notes of the big Dukie, "Plumlee should get plenty of minutes. Maybe he’ll even start"