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P.J. Hairston's role on the 2014 Charlotte Hornets roster


So, I'm curious what you guys think about P.J. Hairston this year. Naturally, he would have gotten more minutes if we hadn't signed Lance, so a lot of his minutes are going to be eaten by other wings. But Hairston was billed as one of the most NBA-ready prospects in the draft, he's a huge talent on the wing who can score from everywhere, play stout defense, rebound, and play both SG and SF. I'm curious what you guys think his minutes and numbers will look like this season. Do you think we only use him sparingly?

Personally, I think Hairston's minutes are going to grow significantly as the season progresses and he becomes more comfortable with the NBA three. I think he'll play a massive role on our bench as a spark plug when the team needs a scoring boost. With JT's future in question, that also gives Hairston a door to sneak through as well. Even if JT does come back, he still missed all of last season, all of training camp, and at least a portion of preseason. I wouldn't be remotely surprised if Hairston jumps JT on the depth chart.

I really want to see P.J. succeed here. I love his game, and I think he can be a fantastic player in this league.


  • 26 Comments

    I think it will depend a lot on what we do with Neal

         Clifford said Neal had the best training camp of all the players their . Neal said Clifford told him he had a role,  not to get worried .  He all so said he played back up point in S.A.  And he's in the best shape of his life and had lost about 15 pounds.

     

        With that said  it's hard to see a large role for PJ . Hope all the wings makes PJ hungry.

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    InProblematique
    Oct 03 2014 12:14 PM

    I do agree with you guys. Neal's a big wildcard right now. Seems like his name comes up in every interview with Cliff. Going into this offseason I would have said Neal was easily the most likely to be traded, but I'm not sure now. It's going to be interesting to see if he's really reached a new level or if we're just trying to boost his value a little bit. Either way, no such thing as too many shooters.

     

    But like I said, P.J. should still get enough minutes since he plays both wing positions, and even with JT we're a little thin at SF. Hendo and Lance can both play SF, but I have a feeling that Cliff is going to prefer rotating them at SG mostly. 

     

    At any rate, having so much talent on the wing that it's causing some blockages in play time is a really good problem to have. SF is probably the most talented position in the NBA right now, so having players who can guard that position is important. Conversely, SG is the weakest position in the NBA right now, so having players who can score and create from SG will be a good way to exploit teams.

    Neal can't do any of this
     

     

    Not that it makes him worse as a player - just think PJ is an impressive athlete.

    Hired gun.  Come in, score.  

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    InProblematique
    Oct 03 2014 12:40 PM

    Neal can't do any of this
     

     

    Not that it makes him worse as a player - just think PJ is an impressive athlete.

    Yeah, P.J.'s game is super fun to watch. He's also unequivocally the better defender...a lot of that has to do with size and length, but when he was at UNC and then in summer league, it was easy to see that he has a natural feel and good instincts on defense.

    Eh. This is going to sound negative but I dont mean it that way. I think Hairston is going to be a fine player.  I don't think he's special though.  Hope I'm wrong.

     

    As for this season, 4th string SG, 2nd string SF on the depth chart, but loses minutes to Stephenson/Hendo/Williams.  

     

    I think he will get at or less than 10 minutes a game next season and like Black said, inserted when 2's wont cut it anymore. Just too much in front of him right now, and thats a really good thing for the Hornets.

    Hopefully Neal will show enough to get something in return in trade... I just don't think he's done his part at all since we brought him on. Maybe we trade him around mid-season bringing Hairston along slowly and allowing him to grow with the team and then move Neal. Of course that would be one of the better scenarios but who knows. I think Hairston certainly has a place with the team even early and if he develops could be a key for the not to distant future *All that depends on him staying out of trouble...smh... come on guys PLEASE!*

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    InProblematique
    Oct 03 2014 09:19 PM

    There are often times I believe that Hairston will end up being the best SG in this class of rookies a few years down the road. Stauskas will be a very good offensive player as long as he keeps solidifying his offensive repertoire. Right now he's a fantastic three-point shooter and a decent cutter, but he still has to work on that. His defense is awful, though. Maybe he'll improve there as well, but watching several Michigan games last season makes me believe he simply lacks defensive instincts to succeed in the NBA on that end of the court. 

     

    Gary Harris reminds me a lot of Bradley Beal, and I think he was criminally underrated because of his size in this year's draft. The Nuggets got him for a steal. He's going to be a much better two-way player than Staus. Not as good of a shooter or passer, but good enough to be a solid offensive player. And even though he's undersized, he's still a fantastic defender with a huge motor. I like him a lot, and if he manages to continue to play bigger than 6'4", he's going to be very good.

     

    But Hairston is a shooter, a cutter, a fantastic athlete, a rebounder, a defender, and has an absolute freight train of a build. I don't know if he'll ever be quite the shooter Staus can be, and both Harris and Staus are better passers than P.J. But P.J.'s combination of two-way play, size, and athleticism make him the most complete package of the top SGs in the class. I agree that he has a very bright future in this league if he stays out of trouble. If he doesn't get much time this season, Neal is on an expiring contract and Hendo could potentially opt out next season since he has an option. I don't think he will, because I'm pretty sure 6 million is more than he'll be paid otherwise unless he has a huge season, but it's still a possibility‚ÄĒespecially if he feels like he should be starting/getting more playing time. Either way, Hairston will have a clear road ahead of him to be the first wing off the bench after next season.

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    InProblematique
    Oct 03 2014 09:26 PM

    Neal can't do any of this
     

     

    Not that it makes him worse as a player - just think PJ is an impressive athlete.

    I just watched that again (I've seen it like 10 times before today, never gets old), and I just realized how fast he was going on that cut to the basket at 1:38. Absolutely flying. He's a lot of fun to watch.

    Doesn't look THAT athletic to me, in terms of vertical.

    He moves fast though,but really I don't see the 'amazing athlete' he's billed as. 

     

    Edit: He has a max vert of 37. I really find that surprising since he doesn't get very high at all...

    hariston will be a last rotation guy. right now he is a rookie/worse version of gary neal. he does have more size which is a plus but with the hendo/lance sg platoon that advantage is negated.

     

    it is a good thing for rookies not to be big pieces for the team. this means the team is actually good. 

     

    he does offer the hope of extreme flexibility with either hendo or neal as trade assets if he shows to be a very solid nba shooting guard this year. 

     

    i am not counting on either rookie to be put into a major role. which is a good thing.

    I think that Hairstons role won't getting any bigger until the trade deadline!  You have to think about what coach cliff says.  This league is all about match ups.  Gary Neal maybe having a great training camp but unless he grew 4-6 inches he is undersized for the 2.  I think PJ's play will force Coach to give him more minutes.  I say and hope that PJ will be our 6th man.  He is a scoring machine unlike Henderson.  Henderson is a role player that just fits in.  PJ is capable of coming of the bench and becoming one of the best 6th mans in the league.  I think when it gets to the end of the game and if were down.  I see PJ coming in to close the games with lance, kemba, williams, and Jefferson. 

    I think that the person who should be worried about PT is Hendo. If Neal is playing as well as he stated to be, MKG's shot is better than last year, Lance is good as advertised and PJ is brought along slowly, I think Hendo will eventually be the odd man out if he has not improved himself durinng the off season.

    Doesn't look THAT athletic to me, in terms of vertical.

    He moves fast though,but really I don't see the 'amazing athlete' he's billed as. 

     

    Edit: He has a max vert of 37. I really find that surprising since he doesn't get very high at all...

     

     

    totally agree.  he can dunk but it has more to do with his size than his athletic ability. Super athletes make it look easy, Hairston makes it look like he barely got it.  I think his first step is slow as well.  Athletic is subjective I guess, as he's far more capable than I am, but in the NBA I think he's an absolutely average athlete. 

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    InProblematique
    Oct 04 2014 02:12 PM

    His combine measurements were really, really impressive. He's obviously an athlete. Maybe he just doesn't feel the need to get chin high to the basket for a dunk.

    this is coming from observations from summer league which again is a terrible indication of regular season performance BUT we did get a very good glimpse of PJ's personality as a basketball player.

     

    dude is an absolute gunner. and not an accurate one at that. he is also a lousy defender in SL which even factoring in an improvement in playing for clifford in the reg season leaves him as an avg ROOKIE defender. if i were a coach i couldn't tolerate his learning curve when there are more capable vets available and every game counts.

     

    i think he is going to be a more frustrating version of jax for this year until he learns how to play. but, don't read this as i am down on him, he just needs a year or two to learn to be a pro.

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    GeorgeOscarBluth
    Oct 04 2014 06:18 PM

    I would still like to see us move Henderson, as he is now in direct competition with Hairston for second unit minutes.  No question that PJ has more of a future with this team than Henderson.

     

     

    It seems Roberts, Neal, Henderson, PJ, and Taylor (depending on how long he's suspended) will all fight for second unit minutes at the 1, 2, and 3 positions.  I like Roberts, Neal, and PJ the most out of that group.  Taylor has never impressed me and Henderson should've been traded this past summer for a bag of ball.s

    I think how much he plays will be based on his defensive effort.  If he tries to lollygag around like we've seen him do in college and the d league his butt will be nailed to the bench until he realizes that effort on that end of the court isn't optional.

     

    He has the ability to be a net positive defender so if he is always providing good to great defense we will be able to keep him on the floor even if he isn't shooting lights out.  The sooner he realizes this the better.

    His combine measurements were really, really impressive. He's obviously an athlete. Maybe he just doesn't feel the need to get chin high to the basket for a dunk.

     

    That's understandable Problem, but there's a clip in that D-league highlights where he challenges a defender. He doesn't get very high at all. Any NBA big man worth his salt would of blocked that into oblivion. 

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    InProblematique
    Oct 04 2014 10:23 PM

    That's understandable Problem, but there's a clip in that D-league highlights where he challenges a defender. He doesn't get very high at all. Any NBA big man worth his salt would of blocked that into oblivion. 

    I've seen D-League highlights where he launches up and swats a shot away right at the jumper's apex, too. I think it's more a matter of effort and stuff. If there's a coach that can get Hairston to try on D, it's Cliff. I doubt we would have drafted him if he didn't have the ability to defend the wing...that's just not something Clifford looks for.

    That's understandable Problem, but there's a clip in that D-league highlights where he challenges a defender. He doesn't get very high at all. Any NBA big man worth his salt would of blocked that into oblivion. 

     

    So if I'm reading this correctly, you're dismissing his combine performance with 1 play from a highlight video?    Seems irrational. 

     

    PJ is a very impressive athlete.  

    I would still like to see us move Henderson, as he is now in direct competition with Hairston for second unit minutes.  No question that PJ has more of a future with this team than Henderson.

     

     

    It seems Roberts, Neal, Henderson, PJ, and Taylor (depending on how long he's suspended) will all fight for second unit minutes at the 1, 2, and 3 positions.  I like Roberts, Neal, and PJ the most out of that group.  Taylor has never impressed me and Henderson should've been traded this past summer for a bag of ball.s

     

     

    Let me guess... UNC fan?

    for 4 years now, i have been on the leading charge of hendo was always asked to provide way more than he is capable of. the phrase that comes to mind is "if he is your 4th or 5th best guy or better yet a 2nd unit guy, you are looking at a deep playoff team". well, guess what?, that is exactly what the hornets have right now. so naturally, half the folks on this board want to either trade him or bury him on the bench for players who are so clearly behind him it is laughable.

    Normally I'd say that Hairston's role is going to be the franchise shooting guard of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, but with his character question marks he's probably best served simply being around a veteran core and growing up a bunch (I mean seriously, can we just handcuff him to Pargo when he leaves the arena?). He'll wind up towel waver extraordinaire and entertaining garbage time participant, but unless the offense is way more broken than I expect it to be I don't think there's much room for a rookie gunner in the rotation of what's quietly become something of a veteran playoff team.  





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