Athletically, Hairston is probably average in most components compared to many small forwards. However, with his build, he can probably be considered above average in terms of strength and and ability to knock opponents off their position. As a wing defender, many shooting guards might be able to use their quickness to keep Hairston off balance.
At 6’6’, Hairston is a little on the short side for a small forward, however, he presents a nice build for dealing with the rigors of the NBA. In fact, he probably has a bigger build than most NBA players already. The key for him will be to stay in shape and dealing with an 82 game schedule.
Hairston, when motivated, shows a decent amount of a basketball IQ. He gets to his spots offensively and knows how to play angles along with using his body defensively. The question as always is whether he's motivated.
Hairston presents a nice old-school game offensively. His best skill is shooting, and he can shoot from anywhere on the floor. He has NBA range, and can catch and shoot from mid-range, off curls, off picks, or use a dribble pull up jumper. While not necessarily a great off the dribble player, he drives when the opportunity presents itself.
Defensively, Hairston has the body, arm-length, and quickness to be a solid defender at the next level. However, he really struggles with consistent effort and his overall sub par impact presently might be a concern when playing for a defensive taskmaster like Thibs. While he can shoot everywhere and can occasionally take someone off the dribble at the right time, he is an inconsistent shooter and is not much of a passer.
The question to me are: Is he a good enough shooter to take a risk? Can he do other things well enough? Will teams really want to take a chance on him with character concerns and lack of consistent effort?
Overall, Hairston presents some nice offensive talent along with good defensive potential. In fact, offensively his game is somewhat similar to a Nick Anderson or a Wesley Matthews type. That said, he's very inconsistent in shooting/effort and has had plenty of past dealings with the law but no charges ever stuck to him (gun possession, pot, speeding, and reckless driving). He was ultimately booted from UNC for accepting improper benefits.
Whichever team drafts Hairston will take on some red flags despite in order to get an NBA ready offensive game. Hairston could go anywhere from mid-first to mid-second depending on what teams feel about his past dealings and his true potential.
Fit with Bulls
The Bulls need scoring and lots of it and Hairston can do it off pick and rolls and kick-outs. While the Bulls need any offensive talent they can get and he's a confident player, the Bulls also need playmakers, and I am not sure Hairston fills that void.
While Hairston is a nice player to think of offensively, I am not sure if I see Coach Thibs and the Bulls Front Office taking on someone with some character ant motivational issues given the other talent available.
So while I think he could be a good player, from the outside perspective, I don’t know if I see a fit with the Bulls unless he slides down to our second round pick. While I am a believer of second chances, I just don’t feel he possesses any dominant skill or skill-set enough to take over other players likely available at either pick 16 or 19. Even if I think he puts it together, I think it will take time to adjust to the Bulls timing.