Guard Kevin Grevey, who became a free agent after last season, signed an offer sheet from the Indiana Pacers yesterday. If the Washington Bullets fail to match the offer within 15 days after it is submitted to them, Grevey will become a Pacer.
The terms of the contract were not announced, but it was believed a five-year deal for approximately $300,000 a year.
The signing at an Indianapolis press conference caught the Bullets by surprise. Earlier in the day, Bullet General Manager Bob Ferry said he knew Grevey, a four-year starter with the Bullets, had talked with the Pacers earlier this summer but he said he didn't think they were going to make Grevey an offer.
After the signing, Ferry said he would wait to see the offer sheet before making any move.
The Bullets can do one of four things: not match the offer and let Grevey go to the Pacers; match the offer and keep him; match the offer and trade him, or work out a deal with Indiana as an inducement not to match the offer.
The latter is the route the Bullets took in letting Mitch Kupchak go to the Lakers. The Bullets agreed not to match the Laker offer to Kupchak of $800,000 a year, and Los Angeles, in turn, agreed to give Washington Jim Chones, Brad Holland and a first- and a second-round draft choice.
Grevey tried the free agent route three seasons ago before the right of first refusal was instituted and he got no offers.
Grevey said he was "glad to have the opportunity to be an Indiana Pacer. I'm very confident the offer sheet I just signed will be able to pass the Bullets and I will be able to join the Pacers. It will give me the chance to play in front of my friends and family."
Grevey is from Hamilton, Ohio, which is only a two-hour drive from Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, where the Pacers play their home games.
"When my agent, Scott Lang, called me and said Indiana was interested, I became extremely excited," Grevey said. "I feel like a rookie again. It's like a fresh start for me."
Pacer Coach Jack McKinney said the addition of Grevey "gives us more offensive punch. We'll have a strong 1-2 combination in Kevin and Billy Knight. We'll have both of them on the court together often."
Negotiations are continuing between the Bullets and their first-round draft choice, Frank Johnson of Wake Forest. "There's no hurry to sign him," Ferry said. "He didn't play on our summer league team or participate in any of those workouts, so what difference does it make if he signs now or on the first day of training camp?"
The Bullets open training camp Sept. 23.