The deal is dead’: Stunning first name mix-up kills NBA mega-trade

A three-team, multi-player deal between the Washington Wizards, Memphis Grizzlies, and Phoenix Suns is officially dead after a first name mix-up.

I swear, this is real. It’s also a guaranteed lock on the list of all-time NBA moments; somewhere in between the Staples Center tunnel fiasco, and the day DeAndre Jordan was held hostage by the Clippers.

It all began when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported a trade was agreed in principle — centred around getting Trevor Ariza out of Phoenix and to the Wizards, Kelly Oubre Jr. to the Memphis Grizzlies, and Austin Rivers, with Memphis’ MarShon Brooks and Wayne Seldon to Phoenix.

Wojnarowski added a 2020 Grizzlies second-round pick and a conditional 2019 second-rounder would also go to Washington.

That news lasted about five minutes, before seemingly every insider — in one coordinated wave — revealed the punchline to this now-NBA joke. The deal had collapsed.

The Suns reportedly found out the proposed deal had them getting MarShon Brooks instead of Dillon Brooks. You see, they didn’t want that Brooks.

“A trade call was requested with the league Friday [Saturday AEDT], The Athletic’s David Aldridge reported.

“It is pro forma for the league to double-check with all teams involved to make sure everyone agrees. It was then — before a trade call was officially set up — that the Suns said Dillon, and the Grizzlies said MarShon.”

To clarify, both Dillon and MarShon play for the Grizzlies. But are two very different players.

Dillon is a promising 22-year-old, who was taken in the second round of the 2017 draft. MarShon, 29, was the 25th pick in the 2011 draft, but has struggled to find his way in the NBA since.

“Memphis and Phoenix didn’t communicate directly on trade, using Washington as a conduit in coordinating the three-team deal,” Wojnarowski reported.

“Memphis, Phoenix finally talked directly — realised there was confusion on which Brooks was in deal … Memphis wouldn’t put Dillon in the deal. Grizzlies wanted MarShon in the deal.”

Wojnarowski added: “Washington believes it was told Dillon Brooks in conversations with Memphis. The Grizzlies insist they told Washington it was MarShon.”


In the hours following the chaos, conflicting reports surfaced, with both Candace Buckner and Shams Charania suggesting there were indeed a number of conversations between the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns regarding Dillon Brooks.

Per the Washington Post’s Buckner: “For over a week, Phoenix & Memphis had conversations regarding Dillon Brooks. Phoenix even requested Dillon’s physical.”

Buckner also reported the deal never got to the official conference call between the three teams, and the trade died on Memphis’ end.

The Athletic’s Charania added: “Suns and Grizzlies had handful of discussions recently involving Dillon Brooks — never MarShon.”

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