Bullets to sign 7-7 Muresan to a rookie contract Romanian spurns European offer PRO BASKETBALL

August 31, 1993|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Staff Writer

Gheorghe Muresan of Romania has spurned a guaranteed contract for a reported $500,000 to play in Greece this season in favor of a tryout and non-guaranteed rookie contract with the Washington Bullets, his agent said yesterday.

"Gheorghe will meet with Bullets officials Sept. 14, sign a minimum [$150,000] contract, get examined by their medical staff and then start working out for the coaches," said Bill Sweek of ProServ.

Although Muresan, 7 feet 7 and 315 pounds, averaged 17.4 points and nine rebounds for Pao Orthez in France last year, he is considered a long shot to make the Bullets, who used the first of two second-round selections in the June draft to select him.

"We would have preferred Gheorghe to play another year in Europe," said general manager John Nash. "But obviously he has his mind set on trying to make it in the NBA and we're giving him that opportunity."

The Bullets already have 12 guaranteed contracts, including first-round draft pick Calbert Cheaney of Indiana. To keep Muresan, 22, a raw talent with skill on offense but slow feet, Washington would be forced to cut or trade one of their present players.

If Washington releases him in training camp, three other NBA teams -- Portland, Atlanta and Milwaukee -- are reportedly ready to sign Muresan, who is an inch taller than former Bullet Manute Bol and Philadelphia 76ers rookie Shawn Bradley of Brigham Young.

A year ago, the Bullets desperately were seeking an intimidating presence on their front line. But they made a move to resolve the problem when they acquired 7-foot center Kevin Duckworth from Portland in exchange for forward Harvey Grant in June.

In a best-case scenario, Muresan would be allowed time to develop his game in a reserve role.

Sweek said a major reason for rejecting the $500,000 offer from AEK in Greece was Muresan's medical history. He underwent surgery in June to correct a pituitary disorder.

"We believe doctors in the [United] States can do a better job of monitoring Gheorghe," Sweek said.

In another player development, power forward Tim Burroughs of Jacksonville, recently obtained by the Bullets from Minnesota in exchange for second-round pick Conrad McRae of Syracuse, has decided to play for Ve Icenza in Italy this season.

"It was strictly a financial decision," said his agent, Oscar Schoenfelt, of Baton Rouge, La. "Tim has a wife and two youngsters and couldn't risk signing a non-guaranteed contract with the Bullets."

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