Bullets get Skiles in Magic-al deal


The Washington Bullets obtained Scott Skiles, a 1996 first-round draft pick and future considerations yesterday from the Orlando Magic, who needed to open a salary spot for free agent Horace Grant. The Bullets only needed to give up a 1996 second-round pick and future considerations to the Magic in return.

"It is very unusual," Bullets general manager John Nash said. "We definitely benefited from Orlando's unique situation."

Skiles, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound point guard, was the last Magic player remaining from the original expansion draft of 1989. He has averaged 11.0 points and 6.4 assists in eight NBA seasons, but lost his starting job to rookie Anfernee Hardaway in February.

Skiles, who learned of the trade at 4:30 p.m. yesterday, said he was told by Nash not to comment on the trade to the Bullets' local media until Tuesday's news conference. However, he told the Associated Press: "This whole thing is a little unnerving for me. But now I'll do what I always do: I'll show up for work and give it everything I've got."

Said Nash: "He'll start and be our floor leader. He's a quality point guard who is capable of lending his experience and determination to this team."

Skiles, 30, who reportedly was going to be traded by Orlando to the Sacramento Kings for Spud Webb on Thursday, will make $2.1 million next season.

Nash said Skiles, who also was pursued by the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks, will fill the salary slot left by Pervis Ellison, and will not slow down contract negotiations with Juwan Howard, the Bullets' first-round draft pick.

With the addition of Skiles, the Bullets have four point guards. It appears likely that the rumored deal of Michael Adams going to )) the Charlotte Hornets now will be completed.

"We now have four point guards and have to be realistic," said Nash, who also has Brent Price and Doug Overton on the roster.

Last season, Skiles averaged 9.9 points, 6.1 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 82 games. Skiles, a Michigan State product, ranked fifth in three-point accuracy (.412), seventh in free-throw percentage (.878) and 16th in assists last year in the NBA.

He was named the league's Most Improved Player for the 1990-91 season, when he averaged 17.2 points and 8.4 assists. On Dec. 30, 1990, Skiles set an all-time NBA single-season assists mark, handing out 30 against Denver.

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