1. Fixing the vibes
This isn't as tangible as the prior two, but creating a more relaxed and positive environment is one of the main things Ujiri hoped to fix when he got rid of the abrasive Nurse. For an 8-8 team, Rajakovic seems to have complete control of a locker room that is playing hard for him.
Players are reportedly all-in on Rajakovic, citing his positive form of leadership and constant checking in with every player on the roster. Playing with more "joy" is something Rajakovic asks of a roster that is still somewhat in flux, and it seems to be working when they can get into a groove.
Darko Rajakovic has the Toronto Raptors feeling good.
It felt like everyone was walking on eggshells last season, as any sort of minor problem could be the equivalent of taking the proverbial pin out of a grenade and blowing everything up. With a coach who can be as aggressive and direct with players as Nurse, negativity seemed to reign supreme.
Players like Barnes have attested to what a mess last season was, and Rajakovic seems to have the team playing better independent of the record. The 2021-22 season, where Toronto was thriving after winning 48 games, should be a somewhat attainable goal for this team.