Joe Pace, the unpredictable center who spent two seasons in Washington before playing out his option in 1978, has been offered a contract to play for the Bullets again this season, General Manager Bob Ferry confirmed yesterday.
"We have made him an offer, but there is absolutely nothing signed yet," Ferry said. "We just want to take a look at him. He played fine in the summer league (Urban Coalition), and we'll see."
Pace, a 27-year-old, 6-foot-10 center and a second-round draft choice out of Coppin State in 1976, spent most of his time on the Bullet bench, showing occasional brilliance on the court and a somewhat cavalier attitude off it. He missed practices, showed up late for meetings and flights and played out his option after the 1978 championship season.
The Boston Celtics signed him that year, but he walked out of camp and hasn't played in the NBA since. He played professionally in Italy two years, but was convicted of drug abuse and given a suspended 20-month sentence after being hospitalized in Pesaro, Italy, because of a drug overdose in March 1980.
Coach Gene Shue said he had been impressed with Pace's summer league play and that "he definitely has a chance to make the team. The center position is really wide open. If he can just block shots and play defense, that's all we want him to do."