NBA projection: Some NBA draft analysts have projected Hairston as a late-first round pick; others project him as a high second-rounder.
After a series of off-the-court transgressions that forced North Carolina to dismiss him from the team, Hairston played this season with the Texas Legends of the D-League. Hairston was impressive there, averaging 27 points per 40 minutes, so despite his troubles at UNC, he got himself back into first-round consideration. In just his second game in the D-League, Hairston scored 40 points; he followed that effort three games later with 45 points, quickly erasing doubts about his ability to carry over his prodigious scoring skills to the pro game.
Key statistics: 21.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.8 apg, 1.5 spg, 1.8 tpg, 32.3 mpg, .453 FG, .358 3PT, .870 FT
Cool statistic: In just 26 D-League games, Hairston knocked down 73 3-pointers, an average of nearly three per game. Adjusting to the NBA 3-point line from the shorter college arc was not an issue for him.
Reminds me of: Arron Afflalo
What Insiders Say
North Carolina coach Roy Williams
“He is not a bad kid. He just made some mistakes. … P.J. has learned from this experience and will continue to grow as a player and adult. I will support him and help him as much as I possibly can as he enters this next phase of his life and basketball career."
What Outsiders Say
Northwest Division executive
"I can't tell you he's definitely late first or early second, but just the fact that he can shoot the ball [helps his cause]. There's not enough shooting to go around, really."
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Scouts aren't quite as convinced about P.J. Hairston, whose controversial stint at North Carolina ended with the team's leading scorer as a sophomore not playing a single game for the Tar Heels as a junior. An investigation into alleged impermissible benefits given to Hairston ended with North Carolina deciding in December not to seek reinstatement for Hairston with the NCAA.
Hairston opted to sign with the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League, and he is eligible to be drafted in June -- a similar path taken by guard Glen Rice, Jr., who was kicked off of Georgia Tech's team in 2012 after twice being suspended by the Yellow Jackets. Rice played the 2012-13 season with Rio Grande Valley, won NBADL Finals Most Valuable Player honors and was taken in the second round of the 2013 Draft by Washington. More>>