Bullet General Manager Bob Ferry, declaring he is not certain it is necessary "to break up the best basketball team going," said yesterday new contract offers definitely would be made to free-agent guards Kevin Grevey and Tom Henderson.
"Sure, we are going to make them offers," Ferry said. He pointed to the loss of injured Mitch Kupchak rather than the play of either guard - or the rest of the back court - as the major reason Washington did not retain its NBA title this season.
Ferry said there is a possibility the Bullets could return next season with the same roster that ended this year's play.
"Really, it's not entirely in our control," he said. "Kevin and Tommy are both free agents and they have to decide where they want to play.
"We've proved the last two seasons and in the playoffs that there aren't many better teams in the league. You have to keep that in mind when you start talking about making changes."
He also said that the names of other free agents in the league, including that of Detroit's Kevin Porter, had "been tossed around" by the Bullets but nothing had been decided.
"We have to sit down and talk about the entire situation," he said. "We will do that this week.
"Just because Kevin was here before will have no bearing on bringing him back. We have a different coach now. It basically comes down to getting what he (Coach Dick Motta) wants. That is my job.
"I get rid of the players he doesn't want and I get the players he wants, while keeping in mind at all times that I have to get proper value for everything I do.
"We discuss every move. It comes down to that we agree to agree. That's my input."
Porter, who played with the Bullets three seasons before being traded away in 1975 after the club lost to Golden State in the finals, led the NBA in assists this past season.
He has played out his option with Detroit, and according to team sources, is a probable replacement for Henderson as the Bullet playmaker next season if he can be signed by Washington and if acceptable compensation can be worked out with the Pistons.
Ferry declined to comment on a story in the Los Angeles Times quoting Motta as saying, when asked if he would consider taking the Lasker coaching job, that "someone in my position would be foolish not to consider options, assuming I could get out of my contract without burning and bridges."
Motta continued: "The way I see it, the Lakers are just a heartbeat away from a championship. I have two years left on my Bullet contract and owner Abe Pollin has been very good to me. But, being perfectly honest, Wes (Unseld) is old and may retire and Elvin (Hayes) isn't getting any younger either."
Ferry said he had not seen the story "and that I don't want to say anything until I do. We all signed new contracts last year. We've never been faced with a situation where anyone has tried to get out of a contract so there hasn't been any policy set."
Midway through the season, Motta signed a two-year extension of his contract, through the 1980-81 campaign. He has had his phone hooked up to an answering tape the last two days and has been unavailable for comment.
Discussing the Bullet's loss to Seattle in the NBA finals, Ferry said he most regretted the injury to Kupchak, not the back-court slump.
"I feel sorry that Mitch was injured," Ferry said. "That's what really hurt us.
"People have to remember that this team was built around roles. Everyone has a certain job. All season long we had been getting tremendous scoring from the players, Elvin, Bobby (Dandridge) and Mitch. And the guards had complemented those players.
"Once the balance is broken, it's difficult to make up for it. You can't expect the guards to all of a sudden become our big offensive threats.
"Hey, in the Seattle series, no one on the team shot well."
Asked about the guard defense in the playoffs, Ferry said that "no team has been successful all season stopping Seattle's guards. That's their strength, that's where they are supposed to get their points.
"Our strength is up front. That's where we get our points. That's how we are constructed.
"If we make any changes (with the guards), we have to look at the alernatives. We have to go down the list and decide who can do a better job on their guards that the players we presently have. Otherwise, it's dumb to make a change."
Ferry said he was convinced, for example, "that Kevin Grevey is not a 38 percent shooter, or whatever he shot in the playoffs (.398). I don't know what happened, but over the long haul he is better than that. He's a great shooter.
"It's really too early to get into all this. It's just been 48 hours since we lost and I've tried not to think that much about it. We've got time. We have to do this with thought and consideration. You don't just rush into it.
"I know we don't expect to get much out of the draft. Drafting 22nd, that wouldn't be realistic. So nothing we do the next few weeks will be affected by the draft at all."
Ferry's views on what went wrong in the Seattle series reflect the emerging opinion of the Bullet organization.
Previously the Bullets thought talk about Kupchak's bad back, which kept him out of the championship round, would be considered an excuse. But now they feel it inappropriate not to point out his value to the club.
"You have to look at us like a chain," Bernie Bickerstaff, the assistant coach, offered. "If one link is removed, all the others are weaker. We are a great basketball team if all 11 are healthy. Then we have people who can cover if on guy has an off game.
"This began at the end of the regular season when we has people out. We never got everything entirely back. We never got our substitutions entirely down; no one knew when they were going in like before.
"All of a sudden, we were manipulating. It was tough to get into a rhythm.
"Seattle really wasn't any better than last year. Maybe they had improved on defense by offensively they didn't execute their options as well. They just did a good job at improvising. They could create, and maybe that's enough."
Bickerstaff, regarded as one of the NBA's top assistant coaches, said he is "ready" for head-coaching but in no particular rush to change positions.
"No one is banging on my door, either," he said. "I'm more or less in limbo about a job. You want to take a drink from the cup, but I'm satisfied here. It would have to be the right job for me to leave. It couldn't be an emotional decision." CAPTION: Picture, Bob Ferry