Rockets News

Houston Rockets sign P.J. Hairston to training camp deal

By Tamberlyn Richardson
Mar 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward P.J. Hairston (19) talks with referee Dan Crawford (right) during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward P.J. Hairston (19) talks with referee Dan Crawford (right) during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Houston Rockets have signed P.J. Hairston to a training camp deal as they seek to add depth to their guard and wing positions.

Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Houston Rockets have added former Charlotte Hornet wing P.J. Hairston to their training camp roster.  This move is not entirely surprising given head coach Mike D’Antoni recently said the team is desirous of adding  depth to their guard and wing roster positions.

Sources: Free agent PJ Hairston is joining the Houston Rockets on a training camp deal. Houston will have his D-League rights.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) September 29, 2016

As per Wojnarowski the training camp deal also extends to the D-League rights of Hairston. This

Mar 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward P.J. Hairston (19) shoots the ball as Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) defends during the third quarter at Toyota Center. The Rockets won 130-81. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

means if the wing fails to make the varsity roster he could be sent to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets D-League affiliate.

More and more teams are actively recruiting for their D-League teams for a number of reasons.

First of all, it offers the franchise an opportunity to keep a close eye on a player’s development. In season an injury to a key player can dictate the need to call up a D-League player. Plus if a player is a deemed a ‘project’ the varsity club can develop the prospect knowing they are learning the system utilized by the main squad (i.e. there is no need to teach the system from scratch).

Hairston is a former University of North Carolina standout. During his time as a pro Hairston has been well traveled. Initially the Miami Heat drafted Hairston, but traded him to the Hornets. Over his year and half in Charlotte the wing had a chance to excel given the injury to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. However when Hairston failed to meet expectations he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies who were mired in injuries.

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Last season between the two clubs Hairston appeared in 66 games averaging 6.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, shot a measly 35.5% from the field ad 29% from deep.

Off court issues have been plentiful for Hairston ranging from assault, marijunana possession, gun possession and traffic violations. Most of these incidents occurred while the 6’6″ wing was in university, but were enough to label him with a ‘troubled’ tag. Nonetheless there is a pattern of off court issues which understandably made NBA teams cautious of Hairston.

With the Rockets currently experiencing a new found sense of team chemistry this acquisition is somewhat concerning. That said, perhaps being surrounded by a group who are solidly working as a unit could be exactly what Hairston needs.

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Should P.J. Hairston perform well Mike D’Antoni will have to decide if the Rockets want to add the wing to their varsity squad, send him to the D-League or release him.

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