Former NBA champion and valuable 3-and-D swingman Trevor Ariza was reportedly headed to Washington -- until Phoenix and Memphis couldn't agree on which Brooks would be dealt to the Suns.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of The Athletic originally reported that the Suns, Wizards and Grizzlies had agreed on a multi-team deal that would send Ariza to Washington, Austin Rivers to Phoenix and Kelly Oubre to Memphis.
As part of a three-team deal nearing completion: Ariza to the Wizards, Kelly Oubre to the Memphis Grizzlies and Austin Rivers and two Grizzlies role players to Suns, league sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/1EmRCHrjOP— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2018
Later Friday evening, however, confusion mounted as to whether Phoenix would acquire MarShon Brooks or Dillon Brooks (both currently with the Grizzlies) as part of the deal.
Washington, Phoenix and Memphis have agreed in principle on deal that will also include Wayne Selden and Dillon Brooks headed to Suns, and a 2020 Grizzlies second-round pick and a conditional 2019 second-rounder to Washington, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 201
Clarify: MarShon Brooks, not Dillon.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2018
It is Dillon Brooks coming back to Suns. Reports of it being MarShon are wrong.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) December 15, 2018
A Grizzlies source confirms it's MarShon Brooks in the deal.— Chris Herrington (@HerringtonNBA) December 15, 2018
Dillon Brooks is a 22-year-old guard taken in the second round of the 2017 Draft. MarShon Brooks is 29-year-old swingman who has played just 66 NBA games since 2013-14. The former was apparently too valuable to trade, as Memphis reportedly killed the deal roughly one hour after it was originally reported as all but complete.
The uncertainty surrounding this particular detail ultimately unraveled the trade as Memphis and Phoenix could not agree on which Brooks would be dealt to the Suns.
Deal's suddenly in peril. Memphis and Phoenix didn't communicate directly on trade, using Washington as a conduit in coordinating the 3-team deal, sources tell @ZachLowe_NBA and me. Grizzlies believe they were trading MarShon, but somehow Suns believed it was Dillon.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 201
Now hearing the trade, at least from the Grizzlies side, is not happening.— Chris Herrington (@HerringtonNBA) December 15, 2018
The deal is dead, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2018
Ariza previously played in Washington for two seasons (2012-14), and it was there he blossomed as a 3-point shooting specialist. The former second-round pick teamed up with John Wall and Bradley Beal to help the Wizards advance to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. After four years with Houston, Ariza signed a one-year deal with the young Suns during the 2018 offseason.
Phoenix, however, is dead-last in the West at 5-24 and in need of a point guard to play alongside Devin Booker. The Suns are a bottom-five team on both offense and defense while alternating between rookie point guards Elie Okobo and De'Anthony Melton.
Memphis, meanwhile, failed to acquire a versatile swingman at least for the time being. The 15th overall pick in 2015, Oubre is averaging a career-high 13.0 points per game, but will enter restricted free agency in 2019.