Skiles is Bullets' new point man


WASHINGTON -- The Washington Bullets chose a Hollywood setting to make official their changing of the point guard.

The Bullets traded starting point guard Michael Adams to the Charlotte Hornets yesterday, then introduced their new one, Scott Skiles, at the Planet Hollywood restaurant.

General manager John Nash spelled out what he expects from Skiles: "run the offense, direct the team and be a leader."

The Bullets traded Adams, who averaged 12.1 points and 6.8 assists last season, for second-round draft picks in 1996 and 1997. Nash cited the 5-foot-10 Adams' lack of size and strength in the half-court offense as reasons for the deal.

The Bullets had acquired Skiles, an eight-year veteran, on Saturday from the Orlando Magic.

Surrounded by Hollywood memorabilia, the 6-1, 180-pound point guard from Michigan State discussed the Bullets' potential.

"I think this is an up-and-coming team," Skiles said. "[And] the expectations might be high. People should expect the Bullets to improve because there are some players who have a year's worth of experience under their belts. And Jimmy [Lynam, Bullets coach] is a good coach."

Skiles, 30, averaged 9.9 points, 6.1 assists, and 2.3 rebounds in 82 games last season. But his playing time was severely cut by the emergence of prized rookie Anfernee Hardaway, who took the starting job in February.

Still, Skiles ranked fifth in the league from beyond the three-point arc (.412), seventh in free-throw percentage (.878) and 16th in assists last year. During the 1992-93 season, when Skiles was the starting point guard, he averaged 15.4 points, 9.4 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 78 games.

Nash noted that Skiles brings in a go-for-broke attitude on and off the court that he admires.

"There's a great deal to covet about Scott," Nash said. "In particular, his personality, his determination, his willingness to put himself on the line, and his expectations that his teammates will do the same."

Skiles seeks to share his fiery style of play with his new teammates.

"I'm not going to change," Skiles said. "I realize that I can be abrasive, and I think my teammates understand that. I want to win games."

Skiles said he would have no trouble adjusting to the Bullets' style.

"I always thought everybody likes [the ball] at the numbers [of the jersey]," Skiles quipped. "If you throw at the numbers, you're safe. I'll get accustomed to the team. No problem."

The Bullets also re-signed restricted free-agent guard Mitchell Butler to a four-year deal. Butler averaged 6.9 points and 3.0 rebounds in 75 games as a rookie last year.

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