NBA Rookies 2012: Grading Performances of Top Picks Thus Far

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NBA Rookies 2012: Grading Performances of Top Picks Thus Far
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It's still early, but two weeks into the 2012-13 NBA season, we've finally gotten our first look at this year's rookie class in regular-season play.

Heading into the season, there were a handful of heavily hyped rookies, each of whom were expected to make an impact during their first season of professional basketball, and thus far, at least some have delivered.

It's a long season, but here's a look at how some of the league's highly touted rookies have fared during their first stints of NBA play.

Anthony Davis

As the No. 1 overall selection of this year's NBA Draft, Anthony Davis entered the league with the loftiest of expectations, and so far, the former University of Kentucky star has delivered.

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Though he was hampered by a concussion briefly, through his first four regular-season games, Davis has been, at least at times, exceptional at both ends of the court, and has demonstrated the physical gifts that made him such a coveted prospect.

He's already posted two 20-point games, including a double-double against Charlotte, so if his first two weeks in the NBA are indicative of what's to come, Davis will be a household name in no time.

Grade: A-

Davis' grade would be higher, but he's been slightly inconsistent on offense. Nonetheless, Davis will be a star in this league for a long time.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Picked by Charlotte directly after Davis in the 2012 NBA Draft, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will forever be linked to his his former University of Kentucky teammate, and thus far, Kidd-Gilchrist has been every bit as good.

He hasn't been an impact on offense every night, partially because of some lingering back problems, but Kidd-Gilchrist has shown flashes of brilliance, including a 25-point, 12-rebound performance in the Bobcats' win over Minnesota.

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Averaging 11.1 points through his first seven games, Kidd-Gilchrist has shown that he can score at the NBA level, and he'll only become more of an offensive force from here.  

Grade: B+

He's been very good in the early going, but outside of his 25-point game, he hasn't put up more than 15 in any others.

Bradley Beal

Fans of the Washington Wizards haven't had much of anything to cheer about this season. For the second consecutive season, the team has started the season 0-7.

However, rookie shooting guard Bradley Beal, who the Wizards took No. 3 overall, has been everything that the team had hoped for and more, starting all seven of Washington's games.

Even without playmaker John Wall in the lineup, Beal has been managing to generate offense and leads the team in scoring with 11.6 points per game, headlined by a 22-point performance against Milwaukee.  

Grade: B+

Beal has had some exceptional nights offensively, as well as some pretty pedestrian nights offensively. Once Wall returns, he won't have to carry the offense nearly as much, and he should develop more consistency.

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