Ernie Grunfeld held a press conference on Thursday to discuss the team's decision to part ways with Randy Wittman. But after some initial questions about the decision to move on from Wittman, most of the rest of the press conference focused on the current and future state of the team.
You can watch the entire press conference here. Below the video are a few notable quotes from Grunfeld during the press conference.
On Randy Wittman
The players actually tell you what to do. I thought we were very inconsistent this year. It was probably the only consistent thing about us. We'd go up and down and there was no sense of urgency. I don't think we played with the type of energy on a nightly basis that you need to in order to achieve the kind of goals we had.
We had high expectations internally and externally. I think most people picked us to be a very good team this year. A playoff team. A team that has the ability to have home court advantage, which was one of our goals, and we didn't reach those goals.
On whether or not having so many players on expiring deals affected the team's performance
I think it was just an overall team effort standpoint. The players who carried most of the weight are under contract for a long time.
Everything plays into it, it's not just one thing. I thought the guys on one-year contracts were solid professionals who have always been on one-year contracts in their previous days.
You can take that both ways. Most of the time when players are on one-year contracts they play a lot harder to get a two-year contract the next year.
On the coaching vacancy
This is a very desirable situation for a lot of people. We have a starting five coming back. We have a young player in Kelly Oubre who has a lot of potential. Bradley, obviously is a free agent, and we hope to get him signed.
Very few teams are playoff-ready and we can be and we also have a lot of flexibility from a financial standpoint moving forward. So this is a desirable job and a lot of agents have already called expressing interest for their clients.
On the Markieff Morris deal
Once we did get Markieff we thought he fit in really well. I think people can see what a well-rounded player he is. He can do a lot of things out on the court, he can defend the perimeter, he can post-up, he can make the three, he's a real good midrange shooter, and he can put the ball down and make some plays. He's just a very solid player who fits in real well and we think for the next three years we think we've found ourselves a young power forward.
On Kelly Oubre's development
I think you saw some improvement from him. When he had an opportunity to play he had some nice moments. You can see that he's a very talented individual, although still very young obviously. When he got opportunities to play early in the season he had some good moments, late in the season he had some good moments. But you can't play everybody.
On not having a draft pick this season
We look at Markieff as being our draft pick. I don't think we were going to get a player at where we were going to be drafting that can do the kind of things that he can do and be on the contract for three years like that and still be young, but proven. So we feel really good about that situation as far as Markieff is concerned, compared to a draft pick.
The draft nowadays you're drafting a freshman or sophomore and you have to develop them and those are not the kind of players, in most cases, who can come in and contribute to a playoff-caliber team and we feel like we're a playoff-caliber team and that's what we want to get back to and we have a lot of pieces in place already.
Like I said, we have some flexibility where we can add more pieces to what we already have.
On when he wants to have a new coach in place
We don't have a timeframe.
On managing Bradley Beal's recurrent stress fractures
You know, it's a trial-and-error kind of thing. He played about 35-40 games in a row at the end of the season with that situation. I think we're in a position now where we have that pretty much handled with all the new technology that we're using, the SportVU. We know what kind of loads that he carries and what the optimum minutes for him are over a long period of time. So it took a little while for our staff to get all those things in order, but I think we have a pretty nice handle on it right now.
[Editor's note regarding Beal playing "35-40 games in a row at the end of the season.": To be clear, Grunfeld was addressing the stress fracture specifically. Beal never played more than 19 games in a row after returning from the stress fracture injury that sidelined him in December and early January, but the injuries that sidelined him later in the year were unrelated to that one. So technically he is correct, even though Beal continued to deal with injury issues later in the season.]