The Washington Bullets are trying to snare a point guard before training camp starts in two weeks. But in their first two cracks at available free agents, they've been shut out.
First, there was Dana Barros, who yesterday signed a six-year, $20.8 million deal with the Boston Celtics -- turning down a comparable five-year offer from the Bullets. And late yesterday afternoon, Elliot Perry was on the verge of signing a six-year deal with the Phoenix Suns, one day after being offered a five-year Bullets deal.
"We're still hunting," Bullets general manager John Nash said yesterday. "Obviously in the free-agent market, our first two choices were the first two to sign. Aside from the years, our offers were pretty close to what they actually accepted."
While point guard is a major concern, the Bullets have found a backup to Calbert Cheaney at shooting guard. Tim Legler, who began last season in the Continental Basketball Association and finished with the Golden State Warriors, has agreed to a two-year contract with Washington.
Legler's signing probably will be announced next week, when the Bullets expect to announce the signing of first-round pick Rasheed Wallace. Bill Strickland, Wallace's agent, said yesterday the deal is close to being finalized.
With Wallace apparently in the fold, and the signing of Chris Webber expected, a void remains at point guard. Because of Barros' signing, Boston's Sherman Douglas could be available.
Nash said he has no interest in Douglas, but Douglas' agent, Eric Fleisher, said Nash has made calls inquiring about Douglas.
"It's obvious the Celtics would want to move Sherman," Fleisher said. "I've had conversations with the Bullets, although what happens has to transpire between the Bullets and the Celtics [in a trade]."