The Darko Rajakovic era in Toronto is officially underway. The Raptors looked sharp in their first preseason game under their new head coach.
The Raptors went through a big coaching change this offseason firing Nick Nurse and bringing in new head coach Darko Rajakovic. Rajakovic also brought in a collection of coaches that will give the Raptors a new look and feel this season.
He will have Pat Delany as his lead assistant and he will oversee the defense. Rajakovic made this known last week. Delany served as the team’s head coach at Summer League.
Jama Mahlalela returns to the Raptors after spending two seasons with the Golden State Warriors. Mahlalela will oversee the offence.
Joining Mahlalela on the offensive side of the ball will be James Wade. Wade spent five seasons as the head coach and general manager of the Chicago Sky of the WNBA. He will be heavily involved with the offensive analytics.
Mike Batiste will work with Toronto’s bigs. Vin Bhavnani and Ivo Simovic will work on the team’s scouting. Jim Sann will work with the younger players and Mery Andrade along with Drew Jones will be player development coaches:
Pat Delany, Jama Mahlalela and James Wade will be the front-of-bench assistants on Darko Rajakovic’s Raptors staff this season. Per Darko, Delany is the lead assistant and defensive coordinator, Mahlalela will oversee the offence and Wade will be heavily involved with analytics.
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) October 7, 2023
The Raptors are hoping their new coaching staff helps bring in different energy and more importantly different results for this season.
Raptors projected as eight seed
ESPN recently put out their stats-based win projections for the upcoming season and they have the Raptors finishing eight.
The Raptors have been written off by many due to the fact that they lost Fred VanVleet for nothing and still haven’t picked a direction.
However, there were some encouraging signs in their first preseason game that suggest the Raptors could have a promising 2023-24 season.
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