Having drafted a small forward with the No. 4 pick of the 2017 draft (Josh Jackson), signed one to an extension last fall (T.J. Warren) and traded for the rights to one drafted No. 10 this year (Mikal Bridges), Phoenix now spent the vast majority of its cap space on another player who primarily plays the 3.
The good news is that if there’s one position where more is almost always better, it’s small forward, the most versatile spot on defense. I’m guessing Ariza will start at power forward, pushing the Suns’ developing bigs (Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss) out of the lineup after each started about half the games last season. But he could also start at shooting guard, pushing Devin Booker to the point.
On the plus side, Ariza should draw trade interest if Phoenix does fall out of the playoff race. Additionally, the one-year deal protects the Suns’ cap space in 2019, when they could get in the mix for a max free agent if they hold off on an extension for Booker to take advantage of his relatively low cap hold.
That said, I think Phoenix would probably have been better off using its cap space now to sign a younger player to a long-term deal that could have aged well as the cap increases.
Sabathia shut down the high-scoring Red Sox, Greg Bird hit two home runs and Aaron Judge connected off a college teammate as New York bopped Boston 8-1 on Friday evening to edge ahead in the AL East.
Not since the famed Bucky Dent playoff game in 1978 had the Yankees and Red Sox met so late in a season when they owned the two top marks in baseball, the Elias Sports Bureau said. Home runs decided this matchup, too, with Miguel Andujar also going deep for New York.
I mean, we’re a good club, New York manager Aaron Boone said. We’re a confident group, we know we can play with anyone.
The biggest crowd of the year at Yankee Stadium was in the spirit as lines formed outside the gates more than 3 1/2 hours before the start. The pro-Yankees chants began prior to the first pitch, the anti-Boston shouts soon followed.
Sabathia (5-3) helped end Boston’s four-game winning streak, less than a month from his 38th birthday. He gave up one run and six hits in seven innings, and improved to 6-0 in his last seven starts against the Red Sox.