The Charlotte Hornets finally addressed their dire shooting situation by selecting P.J. Hairston 26th overall.
Hairston is an interesting pick because he had to go ply his trade in the D-League this season after being ruled ineligible by North Carolina, making this something of a homecoming in Charlotte. He was ruled ineligible for receiving benefits after he was pulled over this summer in a Camaro for speeding. However, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world because after getting to the D-League, Hairston put up massive scoring lines and actually improved his stock.
It’s fair to say he addresses a major need for the Hornets. Outside of Gary Neal, their only returning league-average three point shooter was Gerald Henderson. I would assume that Hairston will be able to come off of the bench immediately and space the floor. He’s hit or miss defensively, depending on his effort level. When he wants to, he absolutely gets after it on that end and his length causes significant problems for the opposition. When he doesn’t, he tends to get lost off the ball and caught ball-watching. I imagine that under Steve Clifford’s tutelage that will change, or he simply won’t play.
It’s also worth mentioning that Hairston can have a tendency to ball stop through the chucking of the basketball at the rim. With guys like Kemba Walker and especially Gary Neal — given that Neal will most likely be playing with Hairston off the bench — that could get cumbersome for the Hornets’ ball movement. They could use a strong caretaker point guard off the bench in free agency this offseason who gets everyone involved as opposed to looking for his own shots. Overall though, I like this pick for the Hornets. Hairston is a good value that addressees a need.
Including their first selection, this was a good round for the Hornets. They picked up a couple of extra picks to move down and most likely get the same guy they were going to take at 24. Plus, they ended up taking a guy who was perceived to be falling and is an excellent fit for their team in Noah Vonleh. Smart moves here from general manager Rich Cho, and ones that could especially pay major dividends if they catch lightning in a bottle in the second round.