The Washington Bullets' 1987-88 NBA season begins Monday, when about 12 hopeful draft choices and free agents meet at Bowie State for the team's rookie camp. They will practice from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday in sessions closed to the public. Regular training camp begins Friday at Fort Meade.
Tyrone Bogues, Washington's No. 1 choice in the June college draft, is not expected at the start of rookie camp. Contract negotiations with the 5-foot-3 point guard just began last Friday, according to David Falk, a vice president at ProServ, the firm representing Bogues.
The Bullets' second-round draft choice, Duane Washington, a 6-4 point guard from Middle Tennessee State, is expected to be at rookie camp. Notable free agents include Jim Grandholm, a 7-foot center from South Florida.
The camp will be one of the first opportunities for the Bullets to see some of these players in action. The recent moratorium between the league and the NBA Players Association prohibited camps like the summer league in Princeton, N.J., which the Bullets normally participate in. The lack of that kind of exposure could be especially costly for players considered long shots.
"Because we didn't have a chance to work with them before and because there's not a lot of time now, it'll make for some quick decisions," said Bullets Coach Kevin Loughery. "The biggest concern I have for these guys is that they come in in shape -- this is no time for conditioning."
The Bullets could be one of several NBA squads looking for improvement through a trade. But Loughery said nothing of importance has been discussed.
"It's almost like the league has just opened up again with the moratorium ending," he said. "Right now, everyone is just getting reacquainted again."