Guards Tom Garrick and Doug Overton were the only remaining free agents on the Washington Bullets roster after guard Pete Myers and forwards Reggie Cross and Rod Sellers were released yesterday prior to the Bullets' preseason game last night against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Louisville, Ky.
Myers, who served as a reserve for five NBA teams from 1986 to 1991, informed the Bullets that he had decided to return to Italy, where he played for Bologna last season. This time, the 6-foot-6 guard from Arkansas signed with Scavolini, which also employs former Bullets guard Heywoode Workman.
Cross, a 1989 Philadelphia 76ers draft pick who played in the United States Basketball League last year, and Sellers, a free agent from the University of Connecticut, were simply victims of the numbers game.
The Bullets already have eight frontcourt players with guaranteed contracts, not counting forward Bernard King, currently on the medical exemption list.
"I told both Reggie and Rod that their chances were minimal once we got [rookie forward] Don MacLean from the Clippers in the John Williams trade," said coach Wes Unseld. "I promised to give them exposure in the exhibitions so other teams would scout them, but I just couldn't keep them."
Garrick, who has played for four NBA teams since being drafted in 1988 by the L.A. Clippers, and Overton, who was drafted and cut by the Detroit Pistons in 1991, also are battling the odds.
The Bullets' depth chart lists starters and backups for both backcourt positions, with Michael Adams and rookie Brent Price at the point and Rex Chapman and LaBradford Smith at shooting guard.
But a trade or injury could open a spot for a fifth guard. Price has been sidelined the past week with a groin pull and did not accompany the team to Louisville.
Garrick has been impressive throughout training camp, while Overton, who only joined the team last week after playing all summer in Australia, has made the most of his three preseason appearances.
The former La Salle star has averaged 11.3 points and 2.7 assists while playing little more than a quarter against Milwaukee, Miami and Houston.
But the newcomer who has most impressed Unseld is MacLean, the former UCLA All-American. Known more for his shooting prowess, the 6-foot-9 forward, who shattered Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's school scoring record, also has been a strong rebounder.
He has averaged seven rebounds in four games, grabbing a game-high 15 in the 111-100 loss in Houston on Saturday night. MacLean also is averaging 11.3 points.
Top draft pick Tom Gugliotta played only three minutes against the Rockets after suffering a dislocated finger on his non-shooting hand. Trainer John Lally re-set the finger.