The Toronto Raptors currently have a cyclone of negativity swirling around them, as the vibes eroded to such a concerning low last season that Nick Nurse lost his job and Fred VanVleet was not retained. Toronto seems to be willing to shake things up to get back into the postseason.
Not many are very optimistic regarding the Raptors and their postseason chances. The Raptors were projected to win just 36 games by several major media outlets, all while watching their first-round pick convey to the San Antonio Spurs if they don’t finish in the top six picks.
Rather than succumb to the negativity and vitriol surrounding this team, Raptors fans would be better off looking at the positive aspects of this team and trying to get themselves hyped up for the 2023-24 season. Being somber and negative will get them absolutely nowhere.
While it might be tough to be an overly optimistic fan after months of refusing to trade away some of their best assets and appearing to get this team stuck immovably in the middle, these three aspects of the team are assuredly worth watching. Any Raptors success in 2023 can be traced primarily to this trio.
3 reasons to be excited about the Toronto Raptors.
3. Darko Rajakovic
While some Raptors fans may have wanted Ime Udoka or Jordi Fernandez to be the head coach, it’s hard to find fault in Rajakovic as a coaching candidate. If the Raptors didn’t hire him as a coach, some savvy organization was going to put him right at the forefront.
Rajakovic checks all three of the boxes the front office and fanbase wanted to see from their head coaches. He comes from outside the Nick Nurse coaching tree, has a background in player development, and is arriving in Toronto from a Memphis Grizzlies team that had one of the best offenses in the league.
Darko Rajakovic should impact the Toronto Raptors.
Rajakovic will have challenges in his first season, as he will need to create an offensive system that spreads the wealth around frequently while managing the egos that helped rip things apart last season. Masai Ujiri seems to feel confident in his ability to mend those fences.
Rajakovic needs to keep improving the young players like Scottie Barnes and Gradey Dick. If he can do that, impending free agents like Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby can look at the state of the Raptors and potentially feel more encouraged to sign a long-term contract with Toronto.