Guard Kevin Grevey said yesterday he didn't want to leave the Bullets, but that he signed a lucrative offer sheet from the Indiana Pacers "because the Bullets left me no alternative."
He continued: "They took the position that I wouldn't get any offers, so they never made me one. There wasn't anything else I could do. They played their hand, which was to wait and see what I could get. I played out my option to find out what I was worth and then try and get that from the Bullets.
"I didn't want to leave. If the Bullets match the offer they can keep me. It's up to them now. I can be happy playing here or in Indiana. I just did what I had to do and I can't lose now.
"Camp opens in two more weeks and I just wanted to be a player with a contract when that happened."
Earlier indications were that the offer sheet Grevey signed was a four-year deal worth between $250,000 to $300,000 a year. It was learned yesterday, however, that it is a four-year contract for closer to $350,000 a season.
Scott Lang, Grevey's agent, said the offer "puts Kevin in a class of athletes he deserves to be in. At this point in Kevin's career he'd very much like to play for Indiana. We hope the Bullets won't match the offer or will work out a deal. But right now I don't think they'll match the offer."
The Bullets received the offer Sunday night. They have 15 days from then to match it and keep Grevey, work out another deal or let him go to the Pacers.
The Bullets and Pacers currently are trying to work out a deal. Ferry, who said all summer he wanted to sign Grevey, indicated this week he will not give up the Kentucky graduate without getting something in return.
The Pacers reportedly have offered forward George McGinnis, another unnamed nonstarter and a second-round draft choice as an inducement for the Bullets not to match the offer.
Ferry is trying to get as much for Grevey as he can and isn't talking about his strategy.
Grevey, a six-year NBA vetaran, said he had talked with a number of other teams besides the Pacers, but that Indiana is probably the only place he considered going.
"The only reason I'd want to leave Washington would be to be close to my home and Indianapolis is only two hours away by car."
Grevey is from Hamilton, Ohio.
The 6-foot-5 Grevey, who has a 12.4 career scoring average, said the Bullets didn't give him the impression he is part of their rebuilding plans. He averaged a career-high 17.2 points per game last season and was sixth in the league in three-point field goal percentage.
"Not since my rookie year have I felt as wanted as I do now," Grevey said. "Coach (Jack) McKinney visited me several times at my home and told me how I'd fit in with the Pacers, that I wouldn't have to beat out Billy Knight. I'll play 35 minutes a game, some of it at guard and some at forward. Knight and I'll play a lot at the same time."
Lang also represents free agent Bob Dandridge. He said several teams are interested in the 33-year-old forward, and feels he could work out a deal for Dandridge with at least one of them.
"I'm just waiting to hear what the Bullets have in mind," Lang said. "Bobby will definitely be playing somewhere next season. If he is healthy, and he says he is, he can start for most teams. And the ones he can't start for, he can still help a great deal."
Ferry has said the Bullets still are deciding what to to about Dandridge.
The team's No. 1 draft choice, guard Frank Johnson of Wake Forest, hasn't signed a contract yet. Serious negotiations between the Bullets and Johnson's attorney, William Pollak of Washington, began earlier this week.