The Washington Bullets released former Loyola College guard Mike Morrison and former American University forward Ron Draper yesterday, trimming their roster to 16 players.
That number includes forward John Williams, who has not reported to the club, and free-agent guard Ledell Eackles, still without a contract.
Morrison, a 6-foot-5 guard and native of Washington, had been obtained in a trade with the Phoenix Suns last month. The Bullets gave up a conditional second-round pick for Morrison, who played in 36 games last season with the Suns. Be
cause Morrison did not make the team, the Bullets will retain that pick.
Morrison played in four exhibition games, averaging 4.5 points in slightly more than 14 minutes.
Morrison was trying to make the team as a shooting guard, a spot where last season's starter (Jeff Malone) has been traded and this season's expected starter (Eackles) is missing. Last weekend, Eackles said he was willing to sit out this season if the Bullets do not improve their contract offer.
The Bullets apparently believed Morrison, who was not available for comment last night, would not be the kind of scorer they would need at shooting guard.
The Bullets still have second-round draft pick A.J. English and free agents Tony Harris, Haywood Workman and Larry Robinson competing for guard spots. English and veterans Darrell Walker and Steve Colter seem certain to make the team, leaving one spot if Eackles does not sign.
Draper, 6-9, averaged 8.5 points and 16.5 minutes over four games.
Draper's release leaves Sam Jefferson, a 6-9 forward from Georgetown, as the only free agent in camp competing for a front-line spot, but he would be a likely cut if Williams joins the team.
The Bullets probably will keep centers Charles Jones and Greg Foster, the 6-11, second-round pick
from Texas-El Paso, along with veteran forwards Pervis Ellison, Mark Alarie, Harvey Grant, Bernard King, Tom Hammonds and Williams.
Hammonds will be out for a week with strained ligaments in his right ankle. Walker continues to nurse tendinitis in both ankles. King, who did not play in Sunday night's exhibition game because of a stiff back, practiced yesterday.
The team will practice today from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Mount St. Mary's and play an intrasquad scrimmage at 7:30 p.m. It will practice from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. tomorrow, then leave for an exhibition game against Cleveland Thursday in Cincinnati.