2009 Spurs Training Camp Profile: Malik Hairston

Project Spurs continues to profile players in the Spurs 2009 training camp.  We started off with Marcus Williams and continue with Malik Hairston.

Malik Hairston

Height: 6’6″
Weight: 220 lbs.
College: Oregon
Position: Guard-Forward
Draft: Phoenix Suns. 2nd Round, 2008

Hairston is aggressive, has a nice shooting touch and can rebound.  He can do all of this and has proven it in limited playing time for the Spurs, his time with the Toros and in the 2009 Vegas Summer League.

While playing for the Toros, he demonstrated his ability to score, putting up 33, 25 and even 43 point games.  During the D-League playoffs versus Rio Grande he totalled 83 combined points in back-to-back games.  The guy can fill the basket.

Last year, he played 15 games and averaged 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds for the Spurs but his most impressive game was a road loss to the Denver Nuggets.  For those of you who remember, this was the game Coach Pop sat Finley, Duncan, Parker and Ginobili but yet the Spurs almost pulled out the victory thanks in part to Hairston.  He finished with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting, five rebounds and a steal.

Even after his performance against the Nuggets, surprisingly the Spurs released him in order to sign Marcus Williams.  This move left some Spurs fans scratching their heads.  Hariston proved he could play in the NBA, and Williams showed the exact opposite. 

However the Spurs resigned Hairston on July 8, 2009 and during the 2009 Vegas Summer league, Hairston again proved he can play with the Spurs.  He displayed a nice shooting touch, showed he can hit the big shot in a game and even posterized Serge Ibaka.

Overall he is a nice player the Spurs need to keep around.  His main competition for a roster spot at the guard position is Williams.  Though his defense is suspect and might hurt him in the Spurs system, his upside is tremendous and he brings a lot to the Spurs.

Training Camp Profile: Malik Hairston

The Spurs have started training camp with a few new faces, and as we did last season, we’ll profile one player per day to give you an inside look at the players competing to wear the silver and black.
malikHeight — 6 ft 6in
Weight — 220 lb
Position — Guard/Forward
Born — February 23, 1987
College — Oregon
Draft — 2008, Round 2/Pick 18, Suns
Malik Hairston had a solid 4 years at Oregon, averaging 14 points per game, off of 50% shooting, and 39% from three.  An injury slowed junior year left him with low marks, but he rebounded his senior year to post 16.3 ppg, 52% shooting with 43% from three, and his 73% free throw mark will be nice for this team.
Consistent playing in both the Las Vegas Summer League and Rocky Mountain Revue showed  7ppg (high 17 vs Atlanta), 48% shooting, making his only three against Phoenix, and put 2.5 rpg on the books (high 5 vs Utah).  While these numbers won’t blow anyone away, they were steady and consistent, which is exactly what San Antonio needs from its role players.
Hairston has shown an ability to see the floor well, and deliver some nice spot on passes.  A great team player, he doesn’t go out of his way to showcase his three point shot, but it’s there, and should be reliable with the Spurs big 3 taking the pressure off of him.  He is also very athletic, so he could become a solid defender if he puts the work in, and also has the ability to get down the floor for some big dunks on the break.  His consistent performance, team play, and athleticism could give him a leg up as he tries to keep a roster spot on the team.

About Michael A. De Leon

Michael founded Project Spurs in 2004. He started The Spurscast, the first Spurs podcast on the Internet, in 2005. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others. He is a credentialed member of the media for the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Toros. He is also the founder of Project Spurs' sister sites, Toros Nation and Stars Hoops.