Losing four games in a row - three of which in convincing fashion - to the reigning NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals has the future of the current iteration of the Toronto Raptors very much up in the air.
Head coach Dwane Casey still sounds extremely optimistic about the makeup of his team's roster, though, even after such an emotionally-draining series.
"I don't know if we're there yet. We're knocking on the door. I like our team," Casey said Sunday following a hard-fought 109-102 loss at Air Canada Centre in Game 4. "I wish we had a little bit more time for them to jell together. I didn't do a good enough job to get them to jell, in quick enough time to play at a championship level. But each guy in that locker room contributed in some way."
Who exactly Casey will have to work with at the start of the 2017-18 campaign will be completely out of his hands now. All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry (who was sidelined for Games 3 and 4 with an ankle injury), P.J. Tucker, Serge Ibaka, and Patrick Patterson can all hit unrestricted free agency this summer.
Ibaka and Tucker were both acquired prior to the trade deadline and didn't have much time to establish an on-court rapport with Lowry after he missed 21 of 25 games during the second half of the season with an injured wrist.
The Raptors improved in the win column every year since 2010-11 before coming down to a still-respectable 51 victories this past season. They won their first-ever best-of-seven series that didn't require them to go the distance by bouncing the Milwaukee Bucks in six games in the opening round before falling to Cleveland.