12:42am: The Wizards and Suns are still talking to try to determine whether they can figure out a new deal involving Ariza, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).
12:28am: The Suns will have veteran forward Trevor Ariza away from the team for Saturday’s game against Minnesota as they look to resolve his situation, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). As we’ve detailed at length tonight, the Wizards appeared to be on the verge of acquiring Ariza before the deal fell apart.
Ariza officially became trade-eligible when the clock struck 12:00 am on December 15, though there’s no rush to move him right away rather than waiting until closer to the February 7 trade deadline. Still, after Friday’s near-deal, perhaps the Suns simply want to move on from the 33-year-old as soon as possible.
For what it’s worth, interim Suns co-GMs James Jones and Trevor Bukstein have displayed a willingness once already this season to move quickly on a roster move, as they bought out Tyson Chandler‘s contract months before the NBA’s usual buyout period.
It’s not clear whether the Suns will try to finalize another variation of today’s failed Ariza trade with the Wizards or if they’ll look to work something out with a new suitor for the forward. An earlier report indicated that Suns owner Robert Sarver is opposed to sending Ariza to the Lakers, who are said to be interested. Jabari Young of The Athletic tweets that the Spurs are also believed to have interest in Ariza, though Sarver may not be enthusiastic about working with San Antonio on a deal either.
Meanwhile, even though Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace issued a statement tonight adamantly denying that his team discussed Dillon Brooks or spoke to the Suns during the negotiating process of the three-team Ariza deal, various reports continue to suggest otherwise.
Charania tweets that the Suns and Grizzlies had a “handful of discussions” involving Dillon Brooks, while Candace Buckner of The Washington Post reports (via Twitter) that those Brooks conversations happened for over a week. The Wizards and Suns were both clear that Dillon Brooks, not MarShon Brooks, was the player that would be involved in the deal, according to both Buckner and Charania. A league source suggests to Buckner that “Memphis maybe got cold feet” (Twitter link).
While Buckner echoes an earlier report that indicated the Suns received Dillon Brooks’ medical info from the Grizzlies, Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian (Twitter link) hears from a source that Brooks’ medicals were never exchanged with Phoenix.