The Washington Bullets have reduced what had become a crowded group of front-court players by waiving forward Ed Horton and center Doug Roth, their second-round selections in last year's NBA draft.
Coach Wes Unseld said a decision had to be made yesterday on the players' status because of provisions in their contracts. He declined to give the specifics.
As waived players, Horton and Roth became unrestricted free agents and can sign with any team.
"Basically, it boiled down to me having to guarantee that they would make the team, and I had to make that decision by July," Unseld said by telephone from Gettysburg, Pa., where he is conducting a four-day adult fantasy basketball camp. "I couldn't do that at this point."
The chances of Horton or Roth making the squad diminished greatly last month when the Bullets acquired 6-foot-10 forward-center Pervis Ellison from the Sacramento Kings and selected Greg Foster, a 7-footer from Texas-El Paso, with the 35th pick of the 1990 draft.
Unseld said General Manager John Nash, who was out of town and unavailable for comment, spoke with Roth yesterday. Horton, however, had not yet been reached by team officials.
"Under other circumstances, I would have loved to have them back in camp," Unseld said.
Horton (6-8, 230 pounds, Iowa) was selected 39th overall in 1989 and averaged 4.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 8.3 minutes in 45 games. He started 10 games, scoring a season-high 18 points against Sacramento on Feb. 2.
Roth (6-11, 255, Tennessee) missed the first seven weeks because of sinus surgery. Selected 41st overall, he was activated Dec. 5 and averaged 1.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 9.8 minutes in 41 games. He posted a 13-rebound effort against Atlanta on March 17.
Both players, Unseld said, are likely to draw interest from other teams. "I'd expect each to get a tryout, at least," he said.