P.J. Hairston: Scouting Report


As we continue with our scouting reports for each player join this year’s Charlotte Hornets team, we next take a closer look at P.J. Hairston. Harrison will be entering his second year with the Hornets after a disappointing first season with the team, he will look to improve on that. 

The 22-year-old Hairston was drafted with the 26th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat and was then traded on draft night to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Shabazz Napier.

Hairston was really coming into his own during his time in college at North Carolina and was rounding into a good overall prospect until he “made a number of mistakes that placed his eligibility at risk and the university’s joint review with the NCAA made it clear that seeking reinstatement for P.J. would not be possible.” His college career then came to an end and he was forced to skip his junior season and play in the NBA D-League for the Texas Legends. Hairston averaged 21.8 points per game during his time with Texas.

The only reason I bring this is up is because the bad decisions of Hairston have continued to turn their ugly head around for the past two years during his time with the Charlotte Hornets. For the past two summers Hairston has been in legal issues and the latest one being that he was cited for a number of driving violations.

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It is just that P.J. is having off the court issues but he is also having his struggles on the court as well. Last season, Hairston mostly rode the bench and didn’t get much playing time but when he did, there was little that was impressive. He averaged 5.6 points per game and 2.0 rebounds per game. And he also continued to struggle during the Orlando Summer League where he couldn’t quite seem to find his range and had trouble with his shooting. He averaged 12.2 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, and 2.0 assists per game, while shooting 33% from the field, and 29% from the three-point line.

A closer look into Hairston’s game show that he is a below average defender that doesn’t have great speed or agility on the court but he is an above average ball handler and passer for his size. He has made name for himself with his ability to score the ball throughout college and during his time in the D-League. His scoring has not translated well to the NBA. He is basically a shooting guard that likes to shoot a lot but can’t always score a lot. He will have his games when he is hot but most of the time he jacks up bad shots and shoots a low percentage from the field. Unless that changes for the upcoming season, then I would expect much more of the same from him.

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There isn’t much more that I expect from Hairston this season. His struggles will most likely continue or he will probably sit on the bench for most of the season. That is if he makes the team’s final roster after training camp. He did after all come into summer league overweight and out of shape. If Hairston continues to struggle on and off the court then I don’t see any reason as to why the Charlotte Hornets should continue to put up with him. He does have some NBA talent but not enough to where he could be a core player for this team. They have already bought in players that will likely replace Hairston in the rotation such as Jeremy Lamb.

Hairston’s contract is fully guaranteed so there is a chance that he still makes the team for that reason but I don’t see any other reason as to why he would. Unless, the Hornets see some potential in his that could eventually flourish then there is no reason for him to continue to be on the team. But if he is when the season begins, he will quickly be the team’s third shooting guard or third small forward. So don’t expect too much out of P.J. Hairston this season except for a few games here and there where he gets some game run.