Bullets reduce roster to 13 by cutting Garrick

November 01, 1992|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Staff Writer

The Washington Bullets are down to their last week of practice and a final roster cut before their season opener in Charlotte on Friday night after completing their seven-game preseason schedule with a 104-98 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

After Friday's game in Knoxville, Tenn., Wes Unseld cut free-agent guard Tom Garrick, who had played previously for four other NBA teams. That left the Bullets with 13 players, one over the 12-man roster limit.

With 12 guaranteed contracts, the man squarely on the spot is free-agent guard Doug Overton, of La Salle, whose outstanding play since joining the team two weeks ago has made it difficult for the Bullets to release him.

Overton, who failed in his bid to make the Detroit Pistons as a second-round draft pick in 1991, has averaged in double figures and scored a team-high 16 points against Milwaukee as the Bullets finished their preseason with a 4-3 record.

Unseld and general manager John Nash agree that starting the regular season with only four guards -- Michael Adams, Rex Chapman, LaBradford Smith and rookie Brent Price -- is risky business. But finding a place for Overton would necessitate trading one of the front-line players, perhaps for a future draft choice.

There was some speculation that Price, sidelined by a groin pull the past two weeks, would begin the season on the injured list. But team doctors have cleared Price to play again. Before his injury, Price, a second-round pick from Oklahoma, had impressed the coaching staff with his shooting and ball-handling.

Nash spent last week scouting teams, keeping an eye out for either a proven rebounder or swingman who might be available on waivers.

Meanwhile, Unseld has been pleased with the progress of rookie forwards Tom Gugliotta and Don MacLean, who have exhibited rebounding skills to go along with their offensive ability.

Gugliotta is making a strong bid to begin the season as a starter.

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