- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 29, 2002

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Small forward Bobby Simmons, whom the Washington Wizards traded to Detroit, then signed after the Pistons waived him, was cut yesterday along with George McCloud as the Wizards got down to the NBA roster maximum of 15 players before this afternoon's deadline.

That Simmons was waived came as a surprise considering the Wizards brought him back Oct.1 after sending him with Richard Hamilton and Hubert Davis to the Pistons three weeks earlier in the Jerry Stackhouse trade. He averaged 3.7 points in 30 games for Washington last season, and coach Doug Collins said "one of the hardest things I've had to do" was to tell Simmons he was cut.

Simmons missed some time during training camp with a hip pointer but was healthy otherwise. He played 40 minutes in five preseason games but didn't play in the final two and made 1-of-7 field-goal attempts.

Simmons' release means two players who were on the bubble, center Ratko Varda and forward Brian Cardinal, made the roster. The Wizards kept Varda even though he missed several training camp workouts and did not play in any preseason games because of hamstring and back injuries.

"With [Varda] being injured, we didn't get to see what he could do," Collins said. Apparently the Wizards felt the 23-year-old Varda, at 7-foot-1 and 265 pounds, warranted at least a closer look from the team. The Yugoslavian played in just one game last season with Detroit.

It comes as no surprise that McCloud was waived, considering he would have found playing time difficult with established players already ahead of him.

Teams can only suit up 12 players, so Varda, Cardinal (strained right quadriceps) and Jahidi White (recovering from left knee surgery) will start the season on the injured list.

Duff Durkin


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