If they got through Boston, they had as good a chance of anybody to win a ship. I wouldn't necessarily rank anyone remaining ahead of them, especially if Pascal was Pascal and not some random guy they found off the street.
yeah, my takeaway isn't that this group can't contend at all.
My takeaway is that you need to answer some questions and shuffle some pieces
1) Is Gasol done as he looked in the playoffs, or can he still be a useful rotation big with Serge? I'm prone to consider the bubble as an outlier as Marc was still a very, very good defender during the regular season. If you bring back Serge & Gasol (both are free agents), how much savings are there? They were paid a combined 49 million this season, I can guarantee they won't be remotely close to that this season. Neither are likely to be that horny about moving on from Toronto.
2) Is FVV trying to end up on a bad team that will pay him, or stay a Raptor? If he's trying to stay a Raptor, he's probably only looking at a 8m raise. If he's trying to be a Piston, 20+M is probably a thing.
3) Assuming that you just run it back again, the biggest flaw this team has is in the half court offence. We need at least one guy who can create shots out of broken plays, late clocks, etc. Doesn't have to be a star (though that would be fucking nice), just someone who can create individual offence and is tall enough to ride all of the rollercoasters at wonderland
I think that if you can find one legitimately good but non star player who can patch that particular hole in the rotation, we're contender status again.
With all of that said, until we know the cap figure for next year, no one has a fucking clue what's going to happen going forward.