Draft Profiles: P.J. Hairston, 6’5, SF,DLeague, 230 lbs.

Draft Profiles: P.J. Hairston, 6’5, SF,DLeague, 230 lbs.

Athletic Ability

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.

Basketball IQ

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 Impression

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.


Leave a comment
  • I would be surprised if the Bulls take Hairston given the character issues, but he is probably one of the guys that can come in and help now given his age and D League experience. I feel like the Bulls like finding guys that are ready to compete sooner rather than later.

    He would fit a need and he would be an instant rotational player. Not much more - as is the case with a lot of these guys.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Reading this, I also thought "no way the Bulls take this guy". He was projected as a mid 1st rounder in last draft before all the character issues came out.

  • fb_avatar

    Very poor evaluation. Hairston will be a shooting guard in the NBA, not a wing. You also fail to mention his impressive numbers in the D-league. When you look at his strengths and the Bulls' weaknesses, he appears to be a great fit and more NBA ready than most prospects....

  • In reply to BullzBrian:

    Don't know much about Hairston, but "impressive D-League" numbers don't mean anything whatsoever. There guys with the best numbers in the D-League generally don't belong in the NBA.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to DougThonus:

    Are they a definite indicator of success? Of course not. But are they relevant when evaluating a prospect? Absolutely.

  • In reply to BullzBrian:

    He averaged half an assist per game. That is some impressive team play.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree with you! To me DLeague right now is about skill-set!

  • In reply to BullzBrian:

    Man, in the Bulls system, wing is almost interchangeable. His weight can help him guard small-forwards as he does not have the elite quickness to continually be a two guard. He has some skills, but I disagree that he is a great fit!

  • By Nick Anderson, I assume you mean the former flying Illini/Orlando Magic Nick Anderson. If he is that or Wesley Mathews on offense that would be pretty damn good for the 19th pick, certainly a heck of a lot better than Snell. Sounds like a pure shooting guard to me, which is a good fit with the Bulls needs(i.e. making Jimmy a small forward).

    I too doubt that the Bulls take a chance on a guy with his character issues. Is he a bigger risk than Lance Stephenson(whom I want no part of) in that regard? How would you compare his offensive abilities to Stephenson's?

  • In reply to BigWay:

    If he maxes out his game, yeah his game resembles a pattern of Nick (not nearly as good). I don't see Hairston hurting people like Stephenson. I also don't see the passion of the game like Stephenson!

  • Thanks for the review. Hairston just shot the hell out of the ball at nearly 7 attempts per game on 40% shooting at UNC. Unfortunately defensively he's rated as awful with poor effort and sub-par quickness. Lack of effort shows up so much on his resume it might as well be his middle name. And driving felon's cars with handguns in tow and drugs I'm not drafting this guy period. At the combine he was lazy as well. And interviews he was just.. there. No dice.

    Looking at two mid first picks, you'd think with a pretty loaded draft through the mid first round it would make picking players easier not harder. However, the more exceptional candidates you have to choose from, the more it allows you to nitpick on their flaws and jump back and forth between them. At least for me it does

    Right now I've got C.J. Wilcox rising on my "board"(ha, ha). Pretentious allusions aside, Wilcox I watched game after game and and he just has a lot of character both on and off the court interviews etc. His volume quality three point shooting over a career and his two point%'s are all 46% and up. He has good wingspan and for what it's worth his combine numbers were really good especially court speed was very impressive and nice max vert. And he has good sized hands for what it's worth.

    Also due to character and high production numbers I still like Jordan Adams though his limited athleticism is going to limit him in certain ways on the next level. Still, I think he';s going to be a quality rotation guy at min for somebody. And Adreian Payne I still like enough to maybe use the 16 pick on him unless Hood is still there. Then take either Adams or Wilcox at 19. If not for James Young's low free throw number I would be very tempted to take him should he drop to 16. Though I know people here don't want him which I understand he has a lot of things to clean up. Still, I bet he ends up being a good NBA player/scorer before it's all over with.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I like Wilcox and agree with you on him! Not as high on Young - will write up soon!

  • Here is a very good analysis of the Bulls potential offseason moves, also in that article is a link to a good analysis of Mirotic. This is some of the best/most interesting discusion of the Bulls offseason that I have seen.



  • In reply to BigWay:

    Good articles, thanks for posting! In all likelihood, the Bulls will have to choose between overpaying second tier FAs or waiting until 2015, meaning they will look either cheap or incompetent. Either way there will be lots of crying and complaining. Unless they do something they never do and swing the big deal.

  • A final tidbit on his bozoholiness before he's handed his ass in T-minus 39 days.

    According to Basketball-Reference.com, Chicago scored an additional 4.9 points per 100 possessions when he was glued to the bench and allowed opponents to score an extra 3.2 when he was on the floor during the regular season.

    Obviously, that’s not good. And it got worse during the playoffs.

    Boozer dropped the Bulls’ net rating by 8.1 points per 100 possessions during the regular season, and that number jumped to 20.9 when past the 82nd game of the campaign.

    and there are still some of you blaming Noah for the Bulls problems against the Wizards.

Leave a comment