Howard rejects Bullets' offer

October 30, 1994|By From Staff Reports

Juwan Howard, the Washington Bullets' first-round draft pick, yesterday rejected the team's latest contract offer at a two-hour meeting at the home of Bullets owner Abe Pollin, the club said in a news release.

The money offered was unchanged -- a guaranteed $30.7 million over 10 years. Yesterday, however, the club said it included a series of options that would allow Howard to negotiate for more money after his second, third or fourth years. He also was offered an unconditional right to terminate midway through the contract.

"We went into this meeting optimistic we could make a deal, based upon what we felt David Falk [Howard's agent] and Juwan Howard were looking for," Bullets general manager John Nash said. "Abe Pollin made some significant compromises."

Howard, the fifth pick of the 1994 draft, reportedly is seeking a six-year, $24 million contract, but Nash has said that he's reluctant to make him the team's highest-paid player.

As part of last week's no-strike, no-lockout pledge by the NBA, all contracts other than those of rookies will be frozen as of Nov. 8. The only Bullets salary slot available this season is $1.4 million, and it has been rumored that Falk might get clients Calbert Cheaney and Rex Chapman to restructure their deals to get Howard more first-year money.

"We are very hopeful he'll join the Bullets," Nash said of Howard. "But we are very disappointed that our compromised offer was not acceptable."

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