When new Bullet Coach Gene Shue welcomes 16 rookies and free agents to training camp today, the team's top draft choice, Wes Matthews, will not be among them.
Matthew's agent, Bob Woolf, rejected the Bullet's last contract offer yesterday, calling it totally unfair.
The two sides are believed to be about $50,000 apart for each year of a proposed three-year contract.
"They [the Bullets] seem to be taking the attitude that this is the only place Wes can play so he has to take their offer or leave it," Woolf added. "That isn't the way to do business."
Woolf also represents Joe Barry Carroll of Purdue and Darryl Griffith of Louisville. They were the first two players selected in last June's draft, Carroll by Golden State and Griffith by Utah, and neither of them has signed.
With Matthews' expected absence, the spotlight today will be on second-round pick Ricky Mayhorn of Hampton, fourth-round pick Francoise Wise of Long Beach State, fifth-round pick Darryl Strickland of Rutgers and sixth-round pick Ken Dancy of Chicago State.
The free agent list is headed by Greg Sanders of St. Bonaventure and St. Anthony's High School and two Bullet draftees from a year ago who did not make the team, Charlie Floyd and Andrew Parker.
All preseason practices at Ft. Meade are open to the public. The team will practice twice daily, beginning today at 9 a.m.
The veterans are due to report to camp Friday.
Matthews appears to be the only Bullet with a contract problem.