The Washington Bullets say they came away with the players they wanted in yesterday's National Basketball Association draft, and the one they are most excited about isn't even a rookie. He's Tom McMillen, an eight-year veteran and former Maryland star.
After drafting Mississippi State's Jeff Malone with the 10th pick of the first round, the Bullets worked out a deal with the Atlanta Hawks for McMillen, a 6-foot-11 forward-center who Gene Shue said will fill an immediate need for his team.
The Bullets, with the 22nd pick of the first round, drafted Randy Wittman of Indiana at the instruction of the Hawks. They then traded him to Atlanta for McMillen and a second-round draft choice next year.
General Manager Bob Ferry of the Bullets said that because he was so high on Joe Kopicki and recently signed Mike Gibson, he didn't want to draft a third young inside player.
"Gene has always like McMillen," he said, "So we worked out a deal. He gives us experience at a position where we need it."
McMillen is vacationing in England and was unavailable for comment, but he has long expressed an interest in playing for the Bullets.
"He gives us a lot more versatility and will fit right into our rotation," said Shue. "We can run our post-up plays from the right side now. All of our other players like to post up on the left side because they're right-handed and it's easier for them, but by being left-handed, McMillen posts up well on the right side. That opens up a whole new set of plays for us.
"He also has a good outside shot and he's always bumping into people. We like that."
The Bullets generally don't pick local players high in the draft, but when forward Michael Britt of the University of the District of Columbia was available early in the second round, they chose him.
It's a gamble because Britt's skills are in the open court and his defense, stamina and strength are suspect.
"He'll start working with (Assistant Coach) Bernie (Bickerstaff) tomorrow," said Ferry. "We have to teach him to play a half-court NBA game. But on sheer talent and ability in a transition game, he could be one of the best players in the whole draft."