PORTLAND, ORE., JUNE 13 -- Washington Bullets officials met for two hours today at owner Abe Pollin's Maryland home with former Philadelphia 76ers general manager John Nash about the vacancy created by the severance Tuesday of Bullets general manager Bob Ferry.

The Bullets appear to be in competition with the Denver Nuggets for Nash's services. The NBA's Colorado franchise is considering Nash for its general manager position -- after Georgetown Coach John Thompson turned down an offer last week that would have made him coach, general manager and part owner, according to several league sources.

Pollin had said at the Capital Centre news conference Tuesday to announce Ferry's departure that the club wouldn't wait long to replace him. Nash officially resigned from the Philadelphia position June 6 after announcing his intentions earlier in the playoffs.

There was no indication tonight as to which way Nash might be leaning. It is believed he brought his wife, Ann, a lifelong East Coast dweller, to Washington to see the city.

If Nash, who began with the 76ers in the ticket sales office, took the Bullets job, he probably would leave the business side of Bullets operations to Executive Vice President Susan O'Malley.

He handled both basketball and business for the 76ers, and was swamped recently when the club did studies on their attendance.

Nash said then, "I would like to have an opportunity to enjoy the basketball side totally, because I've always been distracted by something else." He is under contract to Philadelphia until July 1, so the Bullets had to receive the 76ers' permission to speak with him.

In confirming the meeting, a Bullets spokesman said Nash was one of a few candidates with whom team officials would meet. No decision will be made until next week, the spokesman said.

A league source said yesterday that Pollin wants to have a new general manager before the June 27 draft, even though the Bullets don't have a first-round pick. The coaching staff was in Chicago last week for the league's predraft camp.

"I think they'll all have their say," the source said, "but I think he wants a person in before the draft."

The source also said Nash would have no problem making a quick decision.

Bullets Coach Wes Unseld is on vacation and could not be reached for comment. Pollin did not return a reporter's phone calls. Inquiries to Nash's suburban Philadelphia home were picked up by an answering machine.

Nash became the 76ers' general manager in June 1986. He was involved in marketing, ticket and group sales and did some television and radio broadcasts. (Recently, he tried out for the "NBA Insiders" group that will be featured on NBC's telecasts next season.)

He became assistant general manager and business manager in July 1981, and has worked in the front offices of the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers, the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, the Spectrum (where the 76ers and Flyers play) and Atlantic City Race Course.

A wire service report late Tuesday night said the Bullets had spoken to Nash about the job last week in the event that Ferry left. An independent source said Nash had accepted a general manager's job.

But another source who spoke with Nash today said Nash was not offered the Washington job, but had been offered the Nuggets position.

As Washington started the process of replacing Ferry, a question remained as to how the general manager's role will dovetail with that of Unseld. The last couple of seasons have seen a gradual shift of responsibilities from Ferry to Unseld, which may have made Ferry uncomfortable.

Ferry said Tuesday that in the past couple of seasons he knew "pretty well what to ask for and what not to ask for. I couldn't ask for and demand some things that this team might need for the future."

Pollin disagreed, pointing out that Washington made a $5 million offer sheet to Cleveland guard Mark Price in 1988. But the Bullets didn't go after then-Sacramento forward Otis Thorpe after making overtures in his direction, and they haven't been active in the free agent market since.

Pollin said Tuesday that he wants Unseld to remain coach and won't consider him for general manager. The meeting today apparently did not reach the stage of who may have the final say on personnel matters.

Unseld is 106-118 in just more than 2 1/2 years as Washington's coach and has a year left on his contract.

Praise for the job Ferry did over the last 17 years continued to come in today.

"If he gave you his word, that was it," attorney Bob Woolf said. "He gave us a chance on Bernard King. I had an offer for Bernard {in the 1988-89 season} from there. I had a million and a half. I knew I could get two. But Bernard said no. I said we could go on and he said no, that's it. I've never had a player do that before. And that was because of Bob."

"He certainly was a learning experience for me," said Bernie Bickerstaff, the former Bullets assistant who recently moved up from Seattle head coach to a top front-office position with the SuperSonics.

"I certainly feel I was better off having been around him," Bickerstaff said. "The pressure, period, is to win and be successful. The downside on the Bullets was that they were so good. When you're good like that you end up picking in the middle of the pack. You look at the decade of the '70s and I think the Bullets were the best team in that decade. To stay afloat that long and be considered that way, you've done a pretty good job as an organization."