Project Spurs continues to profile players in the Spurs 2009 training camp. We started off with Marcus Williams and continue with Malik Hairston.
Weight: 220 lbs.
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.