As bizarre as the circumstances were surrounding Friday’s failed three-team trade, it’s not the first time Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff has experienced that type of situation, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Bickerstaff was serving as interim coach of the Rockets in 2016 when the team traded Donatas Motiejunas to the Pistons, who later voided the deal because of injury concerns.
“The guy we brought back, D-Mo, was a high character kid so there wasn’t concern about him having a negative impact on the locker room or anything like that,” Bickerstaff said. “The emotion that they feel is more of a personal emotion. I don’t think it’s necessarily something that’s aimed at the team or a group of guys. But there’s thoughts in your mind that you go through.”
Bickerstaff offered an apology yesterday to Wayne Selden and MarShon Brooks, whom the organization intended to move to Phoenix in the deal. The trade collapsed over apparent confusion over whether the Suns were getting MarShon or Dillon Brooks.
“It’s a difficult situation for people to be put in,” Bickerstaff said. “Guys who have shown up and worked every day and did everything we asked them to do. Felt bad for them. From the coaching side, I thought the right thing to do was apologize and let them know we understand how it feels, how we appreciate in the last 24 hours how they handled it because they could have handled it in a much worse way.”
There’s more today from Memphis:
- MarShon Brooks’ mother learned of the trade on social media during Friday’s game and tried to tell her son about it from the crowd, tweets Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian. However, she was too far away for Brooks to figure out what she was saying. “I’m not frustrated with the situation,” Brooks said about the canceled deal. “It’s a business. I understand that. I will say this though: When guys like a Jimmy Butler or Kevin Durant go to different teams and want to play where they want to play, you see why. It’s a business, on both sides.” (Twitter link)
- Memphis may have found a gem in second-round pick Jevon Carter, Herrington writes in a full story. Carter had 11 points and two steals in his NBA debut Saturday and displayed the defensive prowess the Grizzlies were counting on when they drafted him. “It’s just a part of the game. It’s a process,” Carter said of starting his career in the G League. “Every day I come in here, I work, and I just wait. I just give my best effort — being a good teammate on the bench for these guys. I love these guys, so whatever I can do to help is what I’ll do.”
- Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace gave his thoughts on the trade fiasco last night, insisting his team wasn’t responsible for any confusion.