5 Olympians Playing Overseas Who Are Better Than Boston Celtics' 12th Man

Roberto PayneContributor IAugust 2, 2012

5 Olympians Playing Overseas Who Are Better Than Boston Celtics' 12th Man

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    The Boston Celtics are coming off a successful 2011-12 season and have reloaded for yet another title run this season.

    The Celtics are better and deeper than they were last season, but teams are always looking to get better in any way they can.

    The 12th man on the Boston Celtics is Keyon Dooling, who mainly plays backup point guard while Avery Bradley recovers from offseason shoulder surgery. As the Olympics continue to go on, several players from different countries would provide an upgrade over the Celtics' current 12th man.

    Read on for five Olympians, currently playing overseas, who are better than Boston Celtics' 12th man and would be a great addition for the team.

Rudy Fernandez, Spain

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    NBA fans know Rudy Fernandez as a streaky shooter from his days with the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets. International fans know him as a key cog for Team Spain.

    Fernandez's shooting helps balance the inside presences of Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol and Pau Gasol. He's kind of a spark plug for the team.

    Not only is Fernandez better than Boston's 12th man, he's better than the 12th man on the majority of the other NBA franchises. I say majority mainly because of his lack of playing time on the Denver Nuggets last season.

Marcelinho Huertas, Brazil

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    Marcelinho Huertas is definitely not a well-known name in the United States, but he's easily one of the top passers in the world who doesn't play in the NBA. His court vision and ability to put teammates in a position to score are excellent.

    Team Brazil has several NBA players on their roster (Leandro Barbosa, Nene, Anderson Varejao, Tiago Splitter), but none of them are as important to the team as Huertas.

    Compared to Boston 12th man Keyon Dooling, Huertas is a big upgrade. He would immediately take over Dooling's role and fill the void at backup point guard due to the injury of Avery Bradley.

    Just look at his highlights from his matchup against Team USA; he put on show.

Pablo Prigioni, Argentina

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    Pablo Prigioni is the floor general for Team Argentina and will be a member of the New York Knicks this upcoming season. Prigioni is already 35 years old, but plays like a much younger man.

    Prigioni is crafty and efficient with his moves, as he can get in to the lane to either finish or dish to an open teammate.

    It's quite surprising that he's never come to the NBA before this season, as his skills would seem to translate nicely as a backup point guard.

    Compared to the Boston 12th man Keyon Dooling, Prigioni is definitely more skilled, as well as a better overall player. Even at Prigioni's older age, he would win the backup point guard spot over Dooling.

    His passing would be huge for a bench unit that includes scorers Jason Terry and Jeff Green.

Alexey Shved, Russia

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    Alexey Shved will soon be a name NBA fans know, as the Russian combo guard/forward will be joining the Minnesota Timberwolves this upcoming season. Shved has the passing and shooting skills to make an immediate impact in the NBA.

    Looking at his Olympic performances so far, he could be a big performer on the Boston Celtics. Compared to Boston 12th man Keyon Dooling, Shved would have considerably higher value to the team.

    Shved could play both guard positions and maybe some small forward, if needed.

Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Great Britain

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    Pops Mensah-Bonsu has played on five NBA teams (Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets) and his rebounding would be a nice addition to an NBA team.

    Mensah-Bonsu has played well so far in Olympic play, but he has never really played as well in the NBA.

    On the Celtics, Mensah-Bonsu would provide depth at power forward and center. Compared to Boston 12th man Keyon Dooling, Mensah Bonsu would not be a huge upgrade but would provide depth at a needier position.