Wizards bungle 3-team deal over name confusion

Ben Krimmel
December 15, 2018 - 10:55 am

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports


When the final buzzer sounded in Brooklyn shortly before 10 p.m. it was just another Friday night for the Washington Wizards. 

The Nets defeated their guests 125-118, and the Wizards fell to 0-7 on Fridays this season.

Soon after the game ended, the first report of a three-team deal was put on Twitter by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

The Wiz would reacquire Trevor Ariza from the Phoenix Suns and send Kelly Oubre Jr. to the Memphis Grizzlies and Austin Rivers to Phoenix. To complete the deal, Memphis would send Wayne Selden and Dillon Brooks to the Suns. (A few 2nd round picks would also be swapped.)

About half an hour later, Wojnarowski announced the deal was agreed to in principle. Rivers and Oubre were saying their goodbyes in the Wizards' locker room. "Austin Rivers had team staffers coming up to him and patting him on the back," The Washington Post's Candace Buckner tweeted. "They were saying their goodbyes."

Immediately confusion broke out: It was MarSho​n Brooks in the deal, not Dillon Brooks. The agreed to deal was suddenly in jeopardy, per Wojnarowski. 

Evidently, the Suns and Grizzlies were not in direct communication. They were using the Wizards as "a conduit in coordinating the three-team deal," according to Wojnarowski. The deal was now in peril over the Brooks confusion.

Seventy-three minutes after the deal was first floated, it was declared dead. 

When the Suns and Grizzlies finally spoke, Memphis refused to include Dillon Brooks in the deal. So what caused the mix up?

"Washington believes it was told Dillon Brooks in conversations with Memphis," Wojnarowski tweeted. "The Grizzlies insist they told Washington it was MarShon."

Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace said they "were floored to learn of reports involving Dillon Brooks" in the trade. 

"We never discussed Dillon as part of this trade with Washington – which was the only team we spoke with concerning this proposed deal,” Wallace told ESPN

Reports out of Arizona tell a different tale. According to John Gambadoro, it was the Grizzlies who pulled out of the deal and put blame on the Wizards. 

The deal, however, may not be entirely dead as the Wizards and Suns are still working on getting Ariza from the Suns. 

Twenty-nine games down, 53 games remaining in the 2018-19 Washington Wizards season.

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