When former North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston signed a deal to play in the NBA D-League with the Texas Legends, there was a palpable feeling of excitement. Hairston was expected to make a leap for the Tar Heels this season, but a battle with the NCAA ended his college career. People wanted to see if he could show his progress in the D-League.
Right away he showed that he has the skills to succeed in the D-League and at the pro level. Hairston put up 40 points in just his second career game with the Legends. Over his first eight games, Hairston scored 20 or more points in all but one game, was shooting just under 50 percent, and was playing well defensively for good measure.
In his last three games, though, Hairston’s numbers haven’t been nearly as gaudy. Hairston has failed to score more than 18 points in all three games and hasn’t been knocking down his shots. Over those three games, the prospect is shooting only 15-41 from the floor and just 6-23 from beyond-the-arc. Moreover, he’s notched only two steals over that time, both of which came in one game.
Looking at his start and how he’s played recently, it’s pretty fair to assume that Hairston’s level of play lies somewhere between the 40-point scorer and the 15-41 shooting from the field. It’s clear that he’s a versatile offensive player that can score in a variety of ways that can also contribute defensively. Even with him struggling over his last three, Hairston’s stint in the D-League is doing nothing but improving his stock for the 2014 NBA Draft.