Last season had a disastrous finish, but ultimately the playoff sweep was far more a short term rather than long term disaster.
Last offseason went well. Masai was able to resign his FA's with reasonable deals. The Bruno draft pick was a huge gamble, but few stars can be found at his range, so a pure upside pick was defensible. Masai managed to get Lou and Bebe for a contract and a 2nd round pick, and sign JJ to a cheap FA deal - exactly the type of player that we missed the year prior.
The season started, and soon the Raptors were the talk of the NBA as the wins piled up. Troubling signs though were emerging. The offence, though seemingly effective was very much lacking in ball movement. Supposed franchise cornerstone JV was seeing his playing time reduced. The defence was no longer top 10.
By the trade deadline things were bleak. The defence was getting torched with dribble penetration and the Raptors perimeter players were simply overmatched. And with JV hanging down low, the 10-3 ft area was a bonanza for opponents guards once they penetrated. The offence seemed to become even more ISO oriented. MU wisely didn't give up future assets for short term fixes, but also let things play out with the roster and didn't try to capitalize on any current assets for future assets.
Now comes my point - how many Raptor assets saw their value climb between Game 1 and Game 86? In my mind, only 1, Lou Williams and he was lost for nothing more than cap space in free agency.
KL's value definitely climbed early on, but pretty well lost that and more by seasons end - a shoot-first point guard whose shooting numbers dropped fairly significantly.
DD was injured, inefficient and still unable to stretch the floor.
JV made strides offensively, but not defensively. Prior to the season a max extension was pretty well a slam dunk - it may not be the case now.
TRoss took a huge step back, maybe injury played some part, but there seemed to be much more to it than that.
Amir was hobbled to the point I wonder if MU made more than a half-hearted attempt to bring him back.
PPat may have retained his value, but did it increase? I may be wrong, but I don't think so.
Maybe JJ, but he wasn't overly valued by the league judging by his contract.
Bruno and Bebe barely played and Bruno even looked over-matched in DLeague.
I'm not saying what we have doesn't have some value (look no further than the return for Vasquez), or even a lot of value. What I am saying is the present value of the players we had last season is definitely less than it was a year ago.