The Suns traded Trevor Ariza to the Wizards this morning without any involvement from the Grizzlies after last night’s three-team deal collapsed because of confusion over whether Dillon Brooks or MarShon Brooks was being sent to Phoenix.
Memphis GM Chris Wallace spoke to reporters today about the drama and denied that his team had any role in making the Suns think they were getting Dillon instead of MarShon, writes Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian.
“We were very clear about who was in the trade,” Wallace said. “Contrary to reports, it was not Dillon Brooks. It put us in a very difficult situation with our players when individuals from one or both of those teams leaked the deal while we were playing last night. That forced me to do something I’ve never done in 30 years in this league working for seven teams: To drag two players out of the locker room to tell them they’d been traded and then come back and tell them, no, you haven’t been traded.”
The proposed deal would have sent Ariza to Washington, Kelly Oubre to Memphis and Austin Rivers, Wayne Selden and Brooks — either Dillon or MarShon — to Phoenix. It’s obvious why the Suns would prefer the 22-year-old Dillon Brooks, who was a second-round draft pick in 2017 and is coming off a promising rookie season. MarShon Brooks, 29, is with his fifth NBA franchise and was out of the league for more than three years before Memphis signed him last season.
The trade was virtually finalized before the Grizzlies and Suns realized they were talking about different players, which Wallace admits was an unprecedented turn of events.
“”Fortunately MarShon and Wayne are pros and after I explained it to them they’re both OK with the situation and we’re all moving forward,” Wallace said. “But what happened last night was unfathomable. From our standpoint, and we made this very clear, it was not Dillon Brooks.”
Wallace believes much of the confusion came about because the Grizzlies and Wizards were both occupied with games. News of the deal leaked before those games concluded, which may help to explain the contradictory reports. Herrington notes that original reports had Dillon Brooks as part of the deal, so it’s unlikely they came from Memphis.
Wallace explained that the trade began to come together Thursday afternoon, but most of the work was done Friday through “multiple discussions” with Washington. He adds that the three teams could probably have worked out the confusion behind the scenes if news of the deal hadn’t been leaked. He also suggested that the incident may make him wary about future dealings with the Suns and Wizards.
“I don’t carry grudges, but I’m not happy about what happened last night,” he said. “We were put in a very difficult position with our players, a position we take great pains not to get into, and we were forced to talk to them (about a trade) right after a loss in the locker room. This should all have stayed in house, and it didn’t, and that started the avalanche going downhill.”