Newly acquired guard John Williamson did not report to the Bullets yesterday and the team said last night they were not sure when to except him.
Williamson, who was acquired Monday along with a 1982 second-round draft choice in exchange for Roger Phegley, could not be reached yesterday. The Bullets said he was home in New Jersey waiting to meet with his attorney, Irwin Weiner of New York, before reporting to Washington.
The problem is with renegotiation of Williamson's contract, which calls for an annual salary of $185,000 a year, for this season and next.
Weiner said that the Nets told Williamson they would renegotiate his contract at the end of this season.
Weiner, who could not be reached yesterday, said Monday that the Nets failed to inform the Bullets of their promise to renegotiate and that he wanted to meet with the Bullets to try and work something out before Williamson reports.
General Manager Charlie Theokas of the Nets said that after Williamson declined a $35,000 raise, the team made no further obligations to him.
"I don't know what to expect," said Bullet General Manager Bob Ferry. "As far as we're concerned, there's nothing we can do. John was supposed to meet with his agent today (Tuesday) and try to clear up whatever commitment was made with New Jersey."
Weiner was out of town on other business the last two days so he couldn't meet with Williamson until late yesterday.
The Bullets had their first practice yesterday since last Friday's loss to the Boston Celtics. They went through a crisp two-hour workout, even without Williamson, but a number of players said Williamson should help the team.
"John can put the ball in the hole like George Gervin and those guys," said Elvin Hayes. "He can get it on his own. He's a tremendous player. He can come in and help us right away.
"You can't rattle him, either. When he comes in the game he has the other people scared of him."
"New Jersey plays more of a wide open game, though," forward Bob Dandridge said, "and ours is more conservative and set up. So I don't know if he'll get as many shots up. If he gets the open shot he will hit it, though. When he's open he can hit the shot as well as anyone we've faced all year.
"He can fill a void we have," Dandridge said, "but that doesn't mean he'll solve everything. He was the best big guard available for what they (the Bullets) wanted to give up. Who also was available who could help us?"
Coach Dick Motta was reserved because he wasn't sure what Williamson and his attorney were going to do.
"I just hope he wants to come here and play," Motta said. "I don't think there's anyone who'll question his ability. He's scored 22 points a game for his career and he had 28 in his last game off the bench. He's still young, too. He's only 27. He's a tough player, I know that. I don't like to play against him."
What if Williamson refuses to report to the Bullets? Sources said the Bullets and Nets could agree to void the trade or agree on other compensation for Phegley. If the teams could not reach an agreement, the Bullets could appeal to the league office, which would have the final say.
There are still mumblings around the league about trade talks between the Bullets and the Portland Trail Blazers concerning Maurice Lucas.
The Blazers reportedly are interested in Mitch Kupchak, who said yesterday that published reports about him possibly going to Portland are upsetting.
"It's nice to be wanted, but I don't want to leave," Kupchak said. "If the Bullets can get Lucas trading one up for me this year, they better do it. tThe way I've been playing this year that would be a hell of a move. It's a good move for right now, but I'm going to be a heck of a player for the next six or seven years.
"If they (the Bullets) think Luas is a better player than me and will help the team more in the future, then it's a good deal," Kupchak said. "But if they're judging me on the way I'm playing now, it's not a good deal.
"This is my home and where I want to stay, but one of my New Year's resolutions was not to let the 1980s get me down, so I'd accept it."
Lucas is unhappy in Portland and Portland is unhappy with him. A deal with the Nets was considered with Lucas, Lionel Hollins and a No. 1 draft choice moving East in exchange for Calvin Natt. That deal fell through yesterday and the rumors flew of a Lucad trade to Washington.
He is reportedly in the first year of a five-year extension of the $350,000 a year contract he signed in the summer of 1977. He reportedly agreed to the extension last summer.