The Bullets announced yesterday the signing of their top draft choice, guard Bryan Warrick, and two free agents, former Notre Dame center-forward Dave Batton and guard Anssi Rauramo, from Finland.
"I've never seen him play," Bullets General Manager Bob Ferry said of Rauromo, "so I don't know what he can do. He was referred to us by some people on our legal staff, so we decided to take a look at him. Maybe if he doesn't make it with us he can try out for the hockey team."
Rauramo has played professionally in Finland for the past 12 seasons. He is 6 feet 4 and 30 years old and is the fifth all-time leading scorer in the Finnish league with a career 20.4 scoring average.
Warrick, 6-5, was the 25th player chosen in the last draft and is the only player from the draft the Bullets plan to sign. Training camp opens Friday at Fort Meade.
Batton, 6-10, was at Notre Dame from 1974-78 and has played the last four seasons in Italy and Switzerland.
"Bryan will help us this year," Ferry said of the former St. Joseph's star. "He can play both guard spots and he showed this summer that he's a leader, too."
Batton, who played at 240 pounds at Notre Dame, is down to 225 now and Ferry said he was very impressed with him in free agent-rookie camps the Bullets conducted throughout the summer.
"He's a very good outside shooter and what we're trying to do is surround ourselves with a lot of good shooters," added Ferry.
"If he proves he can rebound, then he has a very good chance of making the team," said Coach Gene Shue.
"There were a couple of other teams that wanted me, but I felt I would fit in best here," said Batton. "I was here this summer and they asked me back, so I guess they feel I can play here."
Warrick, who signed a multiyear contract for an unannounced amount of money, said the fact that the Bullets will bring eight other guards to camp does not bother him.
"None of us is going to run away and hide," he said. "The ones who make it will be the ones who perform. I'm not worried."
Ferry also said that former Portland Trail Blazer guard Billy Ray Bates, a free agent, is expected to sign a contract today and be at camp for the first practice Friday morning. If Bates does sign, the Bullets will bring 19 players to camp.
The Bullets did not conduct a preseason rookie camp, instead looked at players in the summer camps. "Doing it that way gives us a better and longer look at everybody," said Ferry. "We're going into training camp knowing what these rookies can do. Now we'll put them up against pros and see what they can't do."