Everyone knows Moses Malone. What about Terry Catledge?
"Even before the Moses deal, we wanted him," said Washington Bullets General Manager Bob Ferry about the 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward who came with Malone and two draft picks to the Bullets this week for Jeff Ruland and Cliff Robinson.
"He's going to give us hard work," Ferry said. "He's a competitor. No matter what else he gives us, he'll give us that. And you need that to win."
Catledge, Philadelphia's first-round draft choice out of South Alabama last year, scored 27 points to lead the 76ers over the Bullets in the deciding Game 5 of their playoff series in April. Getting increased playing time with Malone out with an injury, Catledge averaged 18.6 points and 8.8 rebounds in the series, up from his regular-season numbers of 7.7 and 4.3.
"I was shocked when told of the trade ," Catledge said from his home in Houston, Miss. "I thought I was going to be with the Sixers. But I'm not upset or anything.
"I guess it was a lot of bargaining. The Bullets gave up two big guys, so I guess they wanted two big guys."
The 23-year-old power forward is an aggressive offensive rebounder who runs the floor well, yet has a soft, accurate turnaround jump shot within 12 feet. Ferry projects him to start right next to Malone and first-round draft pick John Williams to make up the Bullets' new front line.
"We've got him penciled in," Ferry said of Catledge. "The only way he wouldn't start is if he didn't earn it."
Catledge plans to spend the summer in Washington. "I'm not going to say Philly was one of my favorite cities," Catledge said. "I like D.C. more. I just want to get to D.C. and meet some friends."
In Malone, he'll already have one on the team. "Moses and I are pretty tight," he said. "I'm glad I wasn't traded by myself."
Another new Bullet is Steve Mitchell, a 6-1 point guard from Alabama-Birmingham taken with the 36th selection overall. Although he averaged 16.8 points and more than five assists per game for the Blazers last year, his draft stock apparently dropped after a subpar performance in the NCAA tournament.
"It's a little bias on my part, but I don't see how you can judge a player on one game after three or four years of watching him play well," said Mitchell, referring to his three-for-22 shooting effort in a loss to North Carolina.
Going into his senior year, Mitchell was considered one of the top point guards in the country. He is a thoroughly skilled ballhandler with shooting range beyond 20 feet. With the Bullets' unclear situation at point guard, Mitchell has a solid chance of making the team as a reserve.
"Hopefully, I can do what it takes to get on the roster," Mitchell said. "The chance to play with someone like Moses is a luxury I've never had."
Among local athletes chosen in Tuesday's draft were Boston College guard Dominic Pressley and Seton Hall forward Andre McCloud. Pressley, of Mackin High School, was taken in the fifth round by Seattle. McCloud, from H.D. Woodson High, was selected by Philadelphia in the sixth round.