Wizards, Suns, Grizzlies three-way trade falls apart over simple communication issue

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor
The Wizards, <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/pho" data-ylk="slk:Suns">Suns</a> and <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/mem" data-ylk="slk:Grizzlies">Grizzlies</a> had a three-way trade deal in place late Friday night, though it fell apart at the last minute due to a simple communication error. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
The Wizards, Suns and Grizzlies had a three-way trade deal in place late Friday night, though it fell apart at the last minute due to a simple communication error. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Washington Wizards had entered into a three-way deal late Friday night to acquire Phoenix Suns forward Trevor Ariza

However that deal hit a snag at the last minute over a simple communication error — the Suns weren’t sure which “Brooks” they were getting in the trade.

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The Wizards had made a three-way deal in principal to acquire Ariza that would have sent Austin Rivers to Phoenix and Kelly Oubre to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies, as part of the deal, were also going to send Wayne Selden to Phoenix and a pair of draft picks to Washington.

The Suns thought that the Grizzlies were also going to send them Dillon Brooks in the deal. However, the Grizzlies were under the impression that they were trading MarShon Brooks. The Grizzlies were unwilling to trade Dillion in the deal.


The Suns and the Grizzlies didn’t communicate directly on the trade, and used Washington as a conduit, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. And, according to the Daily Memphian, one Grizzlies source placed the blame for the confusion directly on the Wizards.

“We were only talking to (Washington),” the source told the Daily Memphian. “Made very clear to (Washington president Ernie) Grunfeld that it was MarShon. Somehow it appears he told them Dillon.”


So, when the two sides realized the confusion less than an hour after Wojnarowski initially broke the news, the deal was officially dead — which naturally set social media ablaze with jokes.


“Robert Pera did not have any conversation with Suns owner Robert Sarver about the reported 3-way trade,” Memphis general manager Chris Wallace told Wojnarowski. “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.”

More light was later shed by the Washington Post’s Candace Buckner, who reported the Suns and Grizzlies had previously discussed Dillon Brooks and that the deal died on the Grizzlies’ end.



Dillon Brooks has averaged 6.8 points and 2.1 rebounds so far this season — his second in the league. The 22-year-old has played in just 11 games, however, while recovering from a left knee injury.

MarShon Brooks has averaged 7.2 points and 1.7 rebounds in nearly 14 minutes per game this year.

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