John Tavares is a Toronto Maple Leaf.
A kid who grew up a Leafs fan, in Ontario, picked Toronto. A free agent, one of the most coveted in the NHL’s unrestricted-free-agent history, chose the Leafs and coach Mike Babcock. These things aren’t supposed to happen. But here we are: John Tavares is a Toronto Maple Leaf for seven years and $11 million annually, and the power dynamic in the Eastern Conference and the league as a whole might have just shifted.
This is everything for Toronto.
First, he’d be united with Banana Boat buddy Chris Paul — and could bring Dwyane Wade along with him on a minimum salary deal should Wade decide to leave Miami again. CP3, reigning MVP James Harden and James would form a trio as formidable as any in the NBA. Though a move to Houston would force James to confront the Warriors earlier in the postseason, he’d be joining the team that came closest to beating Golden State this postseason. Plus, there’s no state income tax in Texas, which means LeBron’s max salary would be worth a little more there.
After Thursday’s games, the Yankees’ bullpen ranked third with a 2.68 ERA, and first in strikeouts (363) and strikeouts per nine innings (12.03). Boston’s bullpen ranked fifth in ERA (3.10) and strikeouts per nine innings (9.66).
New York’s relievers have been so good that they have held opponents scoreless in 17 of 23 games since June 4. In that span of 73鈪?innings, they have combined for a 0.86 ERA and 94 strikeouts; both league highs following Thursday’s action.
I’d envision the Lakers starting Ingram at point guard — a role he filled at times last season when Ball was injured — and having him share playmaking responsibilities with the newcomers. That would produce a lineup with the 6-foot-7 Leonard as its shortest player, offering tremendous defensive flexibility and the ability to switch nearly any screen. While all four players would perhaps be considered small forwards in a vacuum, all have the ability to defend any position 1-4.