For little more than an hour on Friday, it appeared as if Phoenix Suns forward Trevor Ariza was on his way to the Washington Wizards via a three-way trade, with the Memphis Grizzlies getting the Wizards’ Kelly Oubre Jr. and the Suns acquiring Austin Rivers from Washington and Wayne Selden and Dillon Brooks from Memphis. This trade was also supposed to have the Wizards receiving two future second-round picks from the Grizzlies. However, it now seems that the deal won’t be pushing forward after all due to a rather unusual reason — confusion over the fact that the Grizzlies have two reserve wingmen with the same last name.
In a report that included a timeline of the “advanced talks” that would have sent Ariza to the Wizards, ESPN cited a few of its reporters, starting with Adrian Wojnarowski, who first broke the news of the deal on Friday evening at 9:53 p.m. ET. In a series of follow-up tweets, Wojnarowski fleshed out additional details about the trade, as elaborated above, but it wasn’t long after the famed NBA insider corrected one of his previous tweets, explaining that it was MarShon Brooks, and not Dillon Brooks, who would be sent from Memphis to Phoenix.
“Deal in jeopardy over which Brooks — MarShon or Dillon — the Suns believed it was getting in the trade. Memphis will not put Dillon Brooks in the trade,” read Wojnarowski’s next tweet, which cited league sources who spoke to his colleague, Zach Lowe.
At 11:06 p.m. ET on Friday, Wojnarowski put everything to rest, tweeting that the trade was “suddenly in peril” because of an apparent miscommunication between the Grizzlies and the Suns, and adding a few minutes later that the deal was “dead.”
According to “Woj,” Memphis was under the impression that they were trading MarShon Brooks, while Phoenix “somehow believed” they were going to be receiving Dillon Brooks. The Grizzlies, for their part, insisted in a recent statement that they had only spoken to the Wizards, and not the Suns, about the proposed trade.
“[Memphis owner] Robert Pera did not have any conversation with Suns owner Robert Sarver about the reported three-way trade,” Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace told ESPN.
“Our front office also didn’t have any conversations with Phoenix regarding the reported three-way 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.”
The two players named Brooks are not related to each other and are of different nationalities – MarShon is American and Dillon is Canadian – but they both come off the bench and play wing positions, with MarShon mostly playing shooting guard and Dillon usually lined up as a small forward.
With NBA fans and players alike buzzing about the confusion in the aftermath of the botched three-way trade, the discussions ended with all of the players involved remaining on their respective teams, including the trade’s centerpiece, 15-year NBA veteran Trevor Ariza. The 34-year-old Ariza, whose name has also been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers, is averaging 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.3 assists for the Phoenix Suns, according to his Basketball-Reference player page.
Despite the unusual circumstances that took place on Friday night, the Wizards were still trying to acquire Ariza as of the early morning hours of Saturday, as noted by Wojnarowski in a separate ESPN report.