Bob Dandridge, who has averaged 18.8 points a game in eight years with the Milwaukee Bucks before playing out his option last season, will become a Washington Bullet today.
The Bullets have called a 10:30 a.m. new conference to announce the signing of Dandridge, who will play small forward. Dandridge, 29, has said since the end of the season that he wants to play in Washington.
"We have reached agreement with Washington contingent upon Bob signing a contract, the terms of which have been agreed upon," Milwaukee Bucks president Jim Fitzgerald said yesterday.
The Bucks will receive in the neighborhood of $500,000 over the next three years as compensation from the Bullets. No Bullet players are involved in the transaction. Earlier, the Bucks reportedly had sought either Wes Unseld, tommy Henderson or Mitch Kupchak in return for Dandridge.%TThe Bullets refused to deal any of those players.
According to Buck coach Don Nelson, Dandridge had sought a longterm with the Bucks he wa paid $175,000. The Bullets are believed to have given Dandridge a multiyear contract worth approximately $250,000 a year.
"The two clubs called us and on a conference call informed us that they had worked our compensation and Dandridge had agreed to terms with Washington," NBA deputy commissioner Simon Goudine said. "Obviously, the people in Washington feel he will be fine addition to their club."
Dandridge was a fourth-round draft pick out of Norfolk State in 1969, the same year the Bucks drafted Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Dandridge became a starter immediately and averaged 13.2 points per game as a rookie. Since, he has never averaged fewer than 18.4 points a game for a season, with a high of 21.5 and a career average of 18.8. He averaged 20.8 last season and is a 48.8 per cent shooter as a pro. He also has averaged 7.7 rebounds.
The signing of a Dandridge may finally end the Bullet's two-year search for a small forward. ever since Mike Riordan lost his shooting touch in 1975 They have been looking for an adequate replacement.
Leonard Robinson, Kevin Grevey and Leonard Gray all played the position. Often the Bullet's best lineup had Mitch Kupchak at small forward, Elvin Hayes at strong forward and Wes Unseld at center.
Dandridge would have preferred not playing again in Milwaukee even if the Bucks had met his financial demands. He clashed frequently with management and his outspokeness hurt his relationship with the club.
He did get along better with Don Nelson than with former coach Larry Costello. When he learned Jan. 14 that the Bucks had traded Gary Brokaw, one of his closest friends on the team, Dandridge angrily criticized the deal and abruptly left practice.
The Bucks, NBA champions in 1971, their third year in the league, have been under 500 the last three seasons and were forced in trade Abdul-Jabbar tow years ago.
They picked three players in the first round of this June's draft and have signed one, Indiana center Kent Benson. Marques Johnson of UCLA and Tennessee forward Ernie Grunfeld have yet to agree to contracts.
"This was part of our program in getting three outstanding players in the draft," Fitzgerald said of the cash settlement for Dandridge. "This will help allow Milwaukee to payfor topflight players."