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“We can get an old player any time,” Grunfeld said. “But if the old player doesn’t help you on the court, that’s not the kind of situation we want to get into.”

A year ago, owner Ted Leonsis said another appearance in the lottery would be “unacceptable.” He later backed off after Wall was injured, saying that “the second- or third-worst record in the NBA” would be unacceptable.

Grunfeld cleared that bar, but it probably won’t ever be that low again.

“We had a team that could compete with anyone if we had all of our pieces for the whole year, which we didn’t,” Grunfeld said. “And there’s no excuses — injuries are a part of the game, and we got off to that slow start and it was hard to recover from that.”

Asked if he feels pressure to make the playoffs next year, Grunfeld smiled.

“I felt pressure last year, and the year before, to be a playoff team,” he answered.

It’s an answer he’s used to giving.