Terry Catledge went through his first official workout as a member of the Washington Bullets yesterday and said he is looking forward to more of the same.
"The coaches tell me I'm going to get a lot of playing time," said Catledge, a 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward. "And that's what I want."
Catledge was acquired by the Bullets on draft day when the team traded center Jeff Ruland and forward Cliff Robinson to the Philadelphia 76ers for him, center Moses Malone and the 76ers' first-round draft choices in 1986 and 1988.
Catledge, 22, was introduced to the Bullets' playbook yesterday when he participated in the opening day of the team's rookie and free-agent minicamp at Bowie State College.
First-round picks John Williams, a forward from Louisiana State, and Nevada-Las Vegas guard Anthony Jones are not expected at the camp, which will end Sunday, because neither player has signed a contract, Bullets spokesman Chuck Douglas said.
Catledge displayed his talents during the morning session of drills and scrimmages. He rebounded and played defense aggressively, then changed gears to exhibit a soft turnaround jump shot.
"What Bullets Coach Kevin Loughery would like to see him do is the same things he did against the Bullets in the fifth game of our playoff series with the 76ers," said Bullets assistant coach Fred Carter, who is running the rookie camp with fellow assistant Bill Blair. Carter was referring to Catledge's game-high, 27-point performance in the 76ers' 134-109 victory that eliminated Washington from the playoffs last season.
"We're not trying to put pressure on Terry as a savior," said Carter, " But . . . he's an important spoke in the wheel."
Catledge, who was a 1985 first-round draft pick of the 76ers out of South Alabama, averaged 7.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game for Philadelphia last season. He totaled 15.8 and 8.8, respectively, in the playoff series against the Bullets.
Although he played well in the first 25 games last season, the 76ers were 13-12 and Coach Matt Guokas started to give his veterans much of the playing time. Catledge later came down with chicken pox, forcing him to miss 11 games. Once back, he felt he should have had more court time.
"I was a little frustrated," Catledge said. " Guokas thought he had to go with the veterans. I was a rookie, so I had to go along with it. I realized I was a rookie, and I was there to learn."
Still, he adjusted to Philadelphia and said he felt at home there.
"I used to love running out on the court at the Spectrum," Catledge said. "It was like being back in high school and college again. It was my home. But, I'm going to have a new uniform on when I go back. I'll have fire in my eyes."
Catledge was raised in Houston, Miss. (population 5,000), and said he had little interest in basketball until he grew from 5-8 to 6-4 between his freshman and sophomore years in high school.
Before then, he played mostly baseball. Earlier this summer, he was a pitcher and first baseman for a team in a semiprofessional league in Houston.
Catledge excelled at South Alabama. His senior year, he led NCAA Division I in rebounding with 11.8 per game and finished fifth in scoring (25.1).
Now, with the Bullets, he expects his workaholic instincts to have an impact.
"I like what this team has with Jeff Malone, Gus Williams and everybody," Catledge said. "The 76ers, the Celtics, the Lakers -- they're the teams that are at the top. With Moses and me coming, there's no reason why the Bullets shouldn't be up there, too."