Bullets gets 2-day extension to work out Strickland deal Center McIlvaine signs with Sonics for $35 million

July 23, 1996|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

The Washington Bullets yesterday were granted a two-day extension by the NBA in an attempt to persuade point guard Rod Strickland to undergo a required team physical examination after his trade from the Portland Trail Blazers last week for forward Rasheed Wallace and swingman Mitch Butler.

As they await Strickland's decision, the Bullets learned yesterday that they lost backup center Jim McIlvaine, a shot-blocking specialist. McIlvaine signed a seven-year, $35 million contract with the Seattle SuperSonics.

"We're bringing in several big men for tryouts this week to try and fill the void," said general manager Wes Unseld.

Strickland has refused to be examined while seeking to renegotiate his contract. He has two years remaining on a six-year deal he signed with the Trail Blazers. This season, he was to have received $3.036 million.

"We're trying to make Strickland and his agent [Mark Termini] understand that we can't do anything to improve his contract under the new collective bargaining agreement," Unseld said last night. "But we want to keep the dialogue going."

In essence, the Bullets do not have enough money left in their salary cap to meet Strickland's demands. If Strickland fails to take the physical, the Bullets, who also reacquired forward Harvey Grant in the deal, have a choice of waiving the examination or voiding the trade.

McIlvaine, 24, who replaces Ervin Johnson, averaged nearly as many blocks (2.08) as points (2.3) last season as Gheorghe Muresan's backup. The Bullets' second-round draft choice in 1994 from Marquette, McIlvaine said he was contacted by 23 teams after he became a free agent.

Pub Date: 7/23/96

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