Mel Turpin's second -- and longest -- stint with the Washington Bullets ended yesterday when the reserve center was waived by the club that selected him in the first round of the 1984 NBA draft and resurrected his career last August.

The 6-foot-11 Turpin, 29, was a Bullet for less than a day in 1984, traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers shortly after Washington took the Kentucky star with the sixth overall pick. Turpin spent three seasons in Cleveland, one with the Utah Jazz and another with a team in Zaragoza, Spain, before the Bullets brought him back to the NBA on Aug. 8, 1989, signing him to a free-agent contract.

Turpin, who has battled weight problems throughout his career, spent the past month working with Bullets strength trainer Dennis Householder and met with Coach Wes Unseld last week.

"I had Mel in town here to try and get a positive response as far as his overall conditioning was concerned," Unseld said. "I felt we weren't making progress. It just wasn't working."

But Unseld said Turpin's weight -- which reportedly has ranged from 260 to more than 300 pounds during his career -- "has nothing to do with it."

Turpin is the third front-court player waived by the Bullets since last month's draft, in which Washington selected Greg Foster, a 7-footer from Texas-El Paso, two days after it acquired the 1989 overall No. 1 pick, Pervis Ellison, from the Sacramento Kings in a trade for guard Jeff Malone. On July 10, the Bullets waived forward Ed Horton and center Doug Roth, their second-round selections in last year's draft.

The recent roster moves and Foster's reluctance to sign a contract -- he is considering offers from Europe -- appear to have created a void at center for the Bullets, although Unseld doesn't seem concerned.

"We saw some people in {rookie/free-agent} camp that might be able to help us," Unseld said. "{But} I'm not even looking at the roster at this point."

Turpin played in 59 games for the Bullets last season, shooting a team-high 52.6 percent from the field while averaging 4.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 13.9 minutes per game.