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EASTERN ROOKIE RUSH
published 12/31/12 5:22pm
His shooting needs work but Washington's Bradley Beal has still been one of the East's best rookies.
Photo: Mark Goldman / Icon SMI
Before the season even began, the Eastern Conference's clear-cut rookie to watch was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of the Charlotte Bobcats. How do things look now? We look at the East's most impressive rookies so far.

1. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Bobcats
An all-round game and excellent hustle are helping Kidd-Gilchrist bring the Bobcats back to respectability this season.

2. Dion Waiters, SG, Cavaliers
A sprained ankle slowed him down recently but so far Waiters has been everything Cleveland was hoping for at the 2-guard spot.

3. Bradley Beal, SG, Wizards
He got off to a slow start but well-rounded Beal has been mostly playing like a star for the Wizards in December.

4. Kyle Singler, SG, Pistons
After heading to Europe following an impressive college career at Duke, Singler has emerged as a dependable big-minute starter for Detroit.

5. Jonas Valanciunas, C, Raptors
The expected rookie ups and downs have indeed been regular for Valanciunas, but overall he's showing great talent and the ability to adapt.

Honorable Mentions: Andre Drummond, C, Pistons; Jeff Taylor, SG/SF, Bobcats; Andrew Nicholson, PF, Magic; Terrence Ross, SG, Raptors; Jared Sullinger, PF/C, Celtics

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