The Charlotte Hornets acquired Noah Vonleh and P.J. Hairston in the NBA Draft a few weeks ago. We recently did a Q&A with The Crimson Quarry to get another perspective on Noah Vonleh, so we are doing the same with P.J. Hairston. Swarm and Sting’s editor Reece Helms asked Keeping it Heel’s editor John Bauman a few questions about the former UNC star. Here are the questions and answers from that interview:
1. How great of a fit is P.J. Hairston with the Charlotte Hornets? In other words, could he have landed with a better fit than the Hornets?
John Bauman - I think P.J. is an excellent fit for the Hornets. Charlotte was thin on wing shooting all season long and were looking to add a floor spacer this off-season. Hairston fits the bill as not only a floor spacer but a complete all-around offensive player. Hairston proved he could shoot the rock at Carolina and in the D-League, and refined other parts of his game with the Texas Legends. I think PJ will come off the bench for Charlotte and make a real impact right away. I don’t know if there are any better fits than the Hornets because every team equally needs outside shooting, and that’s what Hairston brings to the table. What I mean by that is any of the late first round teams, like San Antonio, Miami, Oklahoma City or Houston could have used another three point shooter to come off the bench. I think he would have thrived playing with a star like Kevin Durant in OKC. Hairston would have had the easiest job in basketball- making wide open corner threes coming off of KD drives. But I don’t think any of those teams are better fits than Charlotte.
2. What are your expectations for P.J. Hairston’s rookie season? Will he have any more off-the-court issues?
John Bauman - I think PJ can come in and have an immediate impact off the bench. Last season, the Hornets averaged 6.3 three pointers per game in the regular season. I think Hairston boost that number up by chipping in two or three a game to average around 10 points for himself right off the bat in Charlotte. While you can’t really predict any off-the-court issues for any player, I don’t think Hairston will have any problems in his first season in Charlotte. Vets like Gerald Henderson and front office types like Michael Jordan will make sure PJ knows all the rules and what is expected of him. I also think spending a couple months in the D-League allowed PJ to mature and learn from his mistakes in Chapel Hill. All of that put together should lead to an incident free first season for Hairston.
3. What are some of Hairston’s strengths and weaknesses? What does he need to improve on before the season starts?