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In a bizarre tale even by NBA standards, a three-team trade that involved the Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies was called off Friday, when the Suns believed they would receive Dillon Brooks from Memphis — and the Grizzlies actually intended to send them MarShon Brooks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The trade also would’ve sent Suns forward Trevor Ariza to the Wizards, Wizards forward Kelly Oubre to the Grizzlies, and Wizards guard Austin Rivers to the Suns, per Wojnarowski. Grizzlies guard Wayne Selden was also to be traded to the Suns.
Instead, the deal is dead and the Suns, who have actively been shopping Ariza for more than a week, are back to square one. Apparently, the whole mix-up was the fault of the Wizards.
“The Grizzlies and Suns didn’t communicate directly on the trade, using Washington as a conduit in coordinating the three-team deal,” Wojnarowski reported. “Washington believes it was told Dillon Brooks in conversations with Memphis. The Grizzlies insist they told Washington it was MarShon.”
Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace told Wojnarowski that Dillon Brooks was never mentioned.
“(Grizzlies owner) Robert Pera did not have any conversation with Suns owner Robert Sarver about the reported three-way trade,” Wojnarowski quoted Wallace as saying. “Our front office also didn’t have any conversations with Phoenix regarding the reported three-team trade prior to it leaking during our game tonight.
“We were floored to learn of the reports involving Dillon Brooks in the reported trade. We never discussed Dillon as part of this trade with Washington — which was the only team we spoke with concerning this proposed deal.”
While the deal won’t likely impact Ariza, a 33-year-old veteran who has been the subject of trade rumors for a week, it could affect the emotions of the other players involved.
“Austin Rivers had (Wizards) staffers coming up to him and patting him on the back,” Candace Buckner of The Washington Post reported. “They were saying their goodbyes — so yeah. This is going to be awkward tomorrow.”
Buckner also relayed some comments from Rivers when he found out (or at least thought) he had been traded.
“This kind of hit me as a surprise,” Rivers said. “We got 54 games left. I thought we had some more time to get this going together, but you know, they want to go in a different direction apparently.”
But as Buckner noted, the Wizards won’t be going in a different direction, as Rivers now remains with the team.
The Suns and Wizards are still attempting to find a third team to help facilitate a trade centered on Ariza, a league source told Amico Hoops.
Either way, this certainly opens the door for others to start negotiating with the Suns.
Along with the Wizards, the Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly been talking with the Suns about Ariza — as have at least six or seven other teams, according to John Gambadoro of ArizonaSports.com.