The Washington Bullets have a policy of not announcing when a player or coach signs a contract extension, but it was learned that the team has re-signed forward-center Jeff Ruland for at least two more seasons. Also, Coach Gene Shue and Assistant Coach Bernie Bickerstaff have had their contracts extended though the 1983-84 season; the coaches' contracts were to expire at the end of this season.
Shue was NBA coach of the year last season. Bickerstaff has been an assistant with the Bullets for 10 years, having served under K.C. Jones, Dick Motta and Shue. He has the longest tenure with the same team of any assistant in the NBA.
Elvin Hayes missed a game last week with a bruised shin, only the eighth he has missed in 14 seasons in the NBA. It was the first game he missed as a Houston Rocket, having played in 442 straight, the first 328 before being traded to the Bullets in 1972. Hayes, the oldest player in the league at 37, has another year remaining on his contract. He is averaging 13 points, 8.2 rebounds and 30 minutes a game this season. All are career lows.
Hayes is only 172 behind leader Wilt Chamberlain in minutes played.
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Ted Stepien has set Feb. 1 as the date he will either sell the team "or be in the process of selling it" . . . World B. Free, who was traded to the Cavaliers for Ron Brewer two weeks ago, will be a free agent at the end of the season. He says he might stay in Cleveland "if I see signs that the team is improving and trying to rebuild during the rest of the year. Cleveland is a nice place" . . . Bernard King has been the New York Knicks' leading scorer the past 17 games, the longest such streak for a player on any team this season . . . The average NBA player this season is 26.3 years old, 6-feet-6 1/2 and weighs 209 pounds. He has 3.77 years of experience . . . The coaches of the two teams with the best records in their respective conferences as of Jan. 30 will coach in the All-Star Game Feb. 13 at the Forum.