The Washington Wizards had agreed in principle to trade for Trevor Ariza, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, but now that deal is dead because the Memphis Grizzlies have two guys with the same last name, and there was confusion over who was in the deal.
The two in question are the Brooks’s: MarShon and Dillon (of no relation.) Dillon is the more talented of the two, and Phoenix thought it’d be receiving him as part of a three-team deal. Memphis wasn’t putting Dillon on the table, however.
According to Woj, Memphis and Phoenix didn’t deal directly, using Washington to negotiate the trade that caused the confusion. According to Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian, Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld was the middle man.
Once the teams worked directly, they realized the impasse, killing the trade. The Athletic’s David Aldridge reported it was found out during a routine trade call.
The deal in place was to look like this:
A three-team deal will send Kelly Oubre to the Memphis Grizzlies, and Austin Rivers, Marshon Brooks and Wayne Selden to the Phoenix Suns. The Wizards also receive a 2020 second-rounder from the Grizzlies and a protected 2019 pick.
That was incredibly awkward for all the players involved. For a good 30 minutes, they thought they were gone, though now some of them are. The morning after the mayhem, Washington and Phoenix agreed to swap Ariza for Oubre and Rivers.
The original deal clearly came together very quickly — obviously too quickly — as the players involved still played in their respective games tonight. Typically, players involved in deals are pulled from games on the off chance they get injured.
The deal was likely on the verge of happening so quickly because Ariza was just hours from being able to be traded by NBA rule. On Dec. 15, most free agents from the previous summer are eligible to be dealt.