Washington Bullets general manager John Nash is continuing negotiations with the agent of forward Harvey Grant, hoping to get a contract extension worked out before the start of the NBA season, Nov. 1.
Grant, who showed marked improvement last season, averaging 18.2 points and 7.2 rebounds, has publicly aired his dissatisfaction with his contract. A first-round draft choice out of Oklahoma in 1988, the slender 6-foot-9 forward earned $474,000 last year, the ninth lowest salary on the team.
"No one is arguing that Harvey is grossly underpaid," said his Memphis-based agent Jimmy Sexton. "My talks with the Bullets have been very friendly, and I'm hopeful of reaching an agreement before the season starts."
Sexton, who was not Grant's original agent, said, "With Harvey, it was just bad timing. Two years later, rookie salaries increased significantly."
In fact, only a year later, the Bullets' No. 1 draft choice, forward Tom Hammonds of Georgia Tech, received $800,000.
Nash, commenting on a Washington Post story Thursday that said Grant was seeking a multi-year contract worth $6 million, said, "I'll let Mr. Grant discuss his negotiations with the media. We made a proposal to his agent, but right now Harvey is still under contract."
After this coming season, Grant becomes a restricted free agent.
"Harvey should have a long and successful career in the NBA, and we'd like it to be in Washington," said Nash.
Yesterday, Nash asked rookie guard LaBradford Smith of Louisville to have his sprained left ankle re-examined by team orthopedist Steve Haas.
"Dr. Haas re-affirmed the early prognosis that Smith will miss all of the pre-season," said Nash.
In other news, Nash said a wire report yesterday was erroneous in saying the Bullets had invited New York schoolboy legend Lloyd Daniels to training camp, which begins at Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg, Tuesday.
Daniels, who became the focus of a UNLV recruiting scandal, reportedly will get a trial with the Atlanta Hawks. The Milwaukee Bucks also have expressed an interest.