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Rockets sign P.J. Hairston to a camp contract

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Houston is kicking the tires on the former first-round draft pick with a non-guaranteed camp deal.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets added to their training camp roster yesterday by signing free agent swingman P.J. Hairston to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets will also have Hairston’s D-League rights.

Hairston, who was a first-round draft pick at number 26, started off his career with the Charlotte Hornets in the 2014-2015 season before being traded last year to the Memphis Grizzlies. He has modest career averages of 6.0 points, 2.4 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game, while shooting just 34.3 percent from the field and 29.5 from three. He started 52 of 66 games last season for the Hornets and Grizz combined.

Hairston went to college at North Carolina, where he led the team in scoring as a sophomore with 14.6 points per game before being dismissed from the squad prior to his junior year due to a reckless driving charge and a much-publicized rental car scandal.

He was also in the news for the wrong reasons during his rookie season with the Hornets, as he was apparently involved in a physical altercation with a 17-year-old high school player during a pickup game at the Durham, North Carolina YMCA.

The Rockets are taking a flyer on a raw talented player who has yet to put it all together and has struggled in the past with obvious maturity issues. The signing gives Houston 19 players in training camp, so unless the light bulb finally turns on or the Rockets suffer some injuries at the shooting guard or small forward positions, don’t expect Hairston to stick around.

It’s always worth taking a closer look at talent, however, and the non-guaranteed deal means this is a risk-free move for the Rockets.