P.J. Hairston files paperwork to join NBA D-League

Jamie Squire

North Carolina's scoring leader from last season will try the D-League after being ruled ineligible to play this season.

Former North Carolina Tar Heel P.J. Hairston has filed paperwork to join the NBA Development League and released a statement announcing his decision, reports Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports:

"I've spent the past couple of weeks consulting with my family about what's best for me, my development and my future," Hairston said in the statement first released to USA TODAY Sports. "With their counsel in mind, I have enrolled in an online course at the University of North Carolina, taking a class in my major that will be applied towards getting my communications degree. I turned in my first assignment yesterday.

"Additionally, I am pursing an opportunity to play basketball in the NBA's Developmental League, and submitted my paperwork this afternoon.

The junior was ruled ineligible for breaking "impermissible benefits rules" and North Carolina did not seek reinstatement in December, announcing he was no longer a part of the program. Hairston was linked to driving rental cars connected to a local club owner, violating NCAA regulations. He was also arrested on drug charges in July.

Players who were NBA eligible in the prior draft can opt to play in the D-League instead of under the NCAA, though it happens only in rare occurrences. Players who join the D-League can enter the draft the following season, and the affiliates of the D-League team for which he was playing will not have any draft privileges.

Hairston averaged 14.6 points per game for North Carolina last season, leading the team in scoring. The D-League will give him an opportunity to play organized basketball leading up the the draft. It will also provide NBA teams an opportunity to scout him and monitor his growth, providing an alternative with college basketball out of question.

Here's DraftExpress' profile on Hairston:

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