The Washington Bullets have scheduled a news conference this morning and are expected to announce the signing of second-round draft choice A.J. English, a 6-foot-3 guard, to a two-year contract.
The Bullets signed their other second-round draft choice, forward Greg Foster, to a one-year deal last Thursday. They did not have a first-round pick this year.
English's signing leaves guard Ledell Eackles as the only unsigned player. Eackles and his agent, Ed Sapir, are seeking a four-year, $4 million deal for the third-year pro. The Bullets' offer is significantly less, and no talks are being held.
English led Division II scorers with a 34.4 average last season. He and Eackles are the leading candidates to replace shooting guard Jeff Malone, who ended up in Utah after a three-way trade that brought forward Pervis Ellison to the Bullets.
English, the 37th pick in the draft, is considered an explosive scorer with the potential to play in the National Basketball Association even though he played at a Division II school.
He played on the Bullets' rookie-free-agent team in July in Detroit against other clubs' rookies and free agents and led the team in scoring with a 25.3 average in four games.
"The most exciting, dynamic and complete player in the CIAA since Earl 'The Pearl' Monroe," is how Winston-Salem coach Clarence "Big House" Gaines described English last season.
While at Virginia Union, English, a native of Wilmington, Del., was selected to the CIAA all-conference team three times. Last season he led the team in rebounding and scoring as Virginia Union finished 27-4 and was ranked No. 6 in the nation in its division. English, who has a 43-inch vertical leap, was also the conference's slam-dunk champ last season.
He finished as Virginia Union's second all-time leading scorer with 2,396 points, behind Mike Davis, a 1969 first-round draft pick of the Bullets. English surpassed New York Knicks forward Charles Oakley on the school's all-time scoring list last season.