2014 NBA Draft Profile: P.J. Hairston
Hairston spent two years at North Carolina and led the team in scoring his sophomore season (14.6 points). He also made a three-pointer in 33 consecutive games, the fourth-longest streak in UNC history (Shammond Williams, Hubert Davis and Rashad McCants each made one in 34 straight).
The North Carolina native ranked sixth in the D-League in scoring (21.8 points per game) during the 2013-14 campaign, which included two 40-plus point games (40 vs. Rio Grande Valley and 45 at Reno) and four 30-plus point outings (30 vs. Rio Grande Valley, 36 vs. Los Angeles, 31 at Rio Grande Valley and 33 vs. Idaho).
On Friday, June 20, Hairston was one of 12 prospects to go through a pre-draft workout in front of Lakers brass at the team's practice facility. PHOTO GALLERY
Below is a transcription of his comments to assembled media members:
Q: On the difference for him personally playing in college compared to the NBA D-League on a nightly basis:
Hairston: It’s professional. Some nights in college basketball, you’re not guaranteed to face a guy the same size. In college, you have 6-1, 6-2 shooting guards. In the D-League, I felt like every night there was a guard my size. I kind of had to do a lot more than I did in college.
Q: On how his game improved playing in the D-League:
Hairston: When I got used to the game, the professional game and the style of play and how much stronger the guys were, that’s when I developed and learned how to use my body more and finish better.
Q: On what type of skills he has that makes him NBA ready:
Hairston: My ability to shoot the ball, and like I said, using my body and being able to finish at the rim and being able to attack smaller defenders.
Q: On if he’s envisioned what it would be like to be drafted by the Lakers and playing alongside Kobe Bryant:
Hairston: I have. I can learn a lot. In the D-League, I learned a lot from Melvin Ely. He was one of the veterans I looked up to. If I ended up here, I could learn a lot from Kobe because he knows the game and he’s one of the best players to ever touch a basketball. If I was here and had that opportunity to be able to be around someone like that and have a positive influence at the same time.
Q: On how he handled this last year, with the problems stemming at North Carolina to going to the NBA D-League:
Hairston: I looked at it as a new chapter in my life and starting off with a clean slate and being able to start over and being able to play basketball again. I put everything behind me and tried to focus on my future. Having these opportunities to work out for these teams knowing they had that trust in me to let me come in and work out shows I’ve changed and I’m able to come in and show my abilities and broadcast what I can do on the court.
Hairston tested sixth among all shooting guards in lane agility time (11.12 seconds), third in standing vertical jump (32.0 inches) and fourth in max vertical jump (37.0 inches).
Other NBA Draft Combine Measurements:
Shuttle Run: N/A
Three Quarter Sprint: 3.32 seconds
Hand Length: 8.75 inches
Hand Width: 9.75 inches
Standing Reach: 8 feet, 5 inches
Wingspan: 6 feet, 9 inches
"Hairston has the prototypical game of an NBA wing. In fact, one could argue he has a more NBA-ready game than several other wings ranked higher. The question for him will be convincing teams he has matured since getting kicked off the North Carolina Tar Heels this season.
"Hairston didn't really help himself at the draft combine. It had nothing to do with his interviews which, by most accounts, he passed just fine. It was his somewhat lackadaisical approach to the drills that hurt him. Scouts who have watched Hairston long enough know that he, like Warren, comes alive when the game begins. But for a guy who needed an image overhaul, the draft combine didn't help."