Loser: The preseason haters
The Raptors are not held in high regard, as their Vegas over-under has been set at 36.5 wins in a division that might be the toughest in the league outside of the Pacific. After a 4-0 run in the preseason, led by a fun new-look offense, those predictions might need to be altered slightly.
Preseason success may not be a 100% perfect predictor of winning in the regular season. Still, the Raptors appear to be much further along than those who projected them to have the 28th-ranked offense and predicted a significant fire sale thought they would.
The Toronto Raptors could easily exceed expectations.
Think about everything that went wrong last season. The team was rarely healthy, ball-hogging at the end of games was rampant, starters were breaking down due to insane minutes workloads, and the lack of shooting was pitiful. That team still managed to win 41 games.
Losing Fred VanVleet is a blow, but keeping most of the infrastructure intact and adding a few very impressive complementary pieces might be all the innovation the Raptors needed to get back on the right track. Rajakovic could have this team gunning for a postseason spot.