The Washington Bullets took another step in their rebuilding process yesterday, formally announcing the signing of 6-foot-10 Jeff Ruland, acquired last season from the Golden State Warriors for a second-round draft choice.
Terms of the multiyear contract were not disclosed.
Ruland, who averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds a game during three seasons at Iona, played last season in Spain, a move he and the Bullets agreed would be beneficial because it would enable him to get more playing time.
"We signed Ricky Mahorn early," General Manager Bob Ferry said. "It's tough to break in two. There just weren't enough minutes."
Now, with Wes Unseld retired, there will be plenty of minutes for Ruland. He is expected to split time at center with Mahorn and will play some forward. Coach Gene Shue said yesterday he could envision playing Mahorn and Ruland together in some situations.
Shue also said he was planning three-day-a-week summer workouts for the team's young players.
"We need the extra work so they can know the system and we can know what they can do before camp starts," he said. "We're in a very tough conference with three 60-win teams, the Knicks with 50 wins, Chicago and Indiana coming on and the Nets with three first-round draft picks. We're behind the competition. We have to do things to catch up."
Ferry and Shue were both noncommittal on the future of veterans Elvin Hayes, Bob Dandridge, Mitch Kupchak and Kevin Grevey. All except Hayes are free agents. The Bullets are not expected to try to re-sign Dandridge, expecially if they draft a small forward.
Ferry said he was aware Hayes wants to finish his career in Texas. He said the Dallas Mavericks are not interested in Hayes, but would not say whether he had discussed Hayes with the San Antonio Spurs.