To say the least, it’s been a crazy 12 months or so for P.J. Hairston. His much-anticipated junior season at Carolina never happened because he took extra benefits ( rental cars for the most part) and as a result, he lost his eligibility. Once it was clear that he wouldn’t be pleasing crowds in Chapel Hill, Hairston took his talents to Frisco… Texas that is, to play for the Texas Legends of the NBA developmental League. After lighting up the D-League, P.J. appears to be ready to make an impact in the NBA and in my opinion he could be the steal of the draft.
When the “experts” talk about the best players in the upcoming NBA Draft, Hairston’s name is usually not mentioned. And I believe that’s a mistake. The 6’6 220 lbs Greensboro native is easily one of the top shooters in this class, combine that with his NBA ready body and his ability to finish through contact – You’d think this young man would be a lottery pick right ? Not according to all the draft guru’s. In most of the mock drafts they have P.J. going somewhere in the 20’s or even in the second round. That’s crazy! I don’t claim to be a guru or a NBA gm, but I don’t see 10 guys better than Hairston in this draft, let alone 30 plus.
In a league that has several teams who lacks true shooting guards, I would think that P.J. Hairston would be a top priority. Evidently, some teams are more worried about his “off the court issues” than his ability to knock down three-pointers. Some of these teams will never learn. The entire league passed on NBA triple double leader Lance Stephenson in the 2010 draft, until Larry Bird and the Pacers took a “chance” on him at #40 in second round. You think several of those teams regret passing on Lance? It could be deja vu for teams when it comes to Hairston.
Bottom line, I have no doubt that more than a few franchises will regret the day they passed on P.J. Hairston. The moment he steps foot on the NBA hardwood, he will instantly be a threat. I for one see big things in his future and when we look back on this draft, those guys who are supposed to know it all will say: How did we not see this coming from P.J.?