Chris Wallace has been in the NBA since 1986. He's seen and done a lot as a front office executive.
On Saturday, the Grizzlies' general manager told reporters he hadn't seen anything quite like the three-team trade between Memphis, Phoenix and Washington that ultimately fell through.
"What happened last night was unfathomable. I've never experienced this before," Wallace told reporters.
The Grizzlies, Suns and Wizards had a deal in place that would have sent swingman Trevor Ariza to Washington, Kelly Oubre to Memphis and Austin Rivers to Phoenix. When reports differed as to whether the Suns were acquiring Dillon or MarShon Brooks from Memphis, however, the deal fell apart. Phoenix insisted on Dillon Brooks, while Memphis maintained it had intended to deal MarShon Brooks all along.
Neither team was willing to yield on its stated preference, leaving Phoenix and Washington to agree on a two-team trade the following day. Both Brooks, meanwhile, remain with the Grizzlies.
"That forced me to do something I've never done in 30-plus years working in this league with seven teams, is to drag two players out of a locker room and tell them they've been traded and then eventually have to come back and tell them, 'Oh, no, you haven't been traded,'" Wallace said.
"We ask a lot of these guys and we try to communicate with them at all times," Wallace added. "We do not want them to know about trades from another party; we want to be the ones that tell them. We were forced to come in at that time and say something. That put us in a very difficult situation."