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Why the trade between the Suns and Wizards fell apart and where they go from here

The Wizards were the cause of the miscommunication between the three sides.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The deal is off, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. There was confusion about whether Marshon Brooks or Dillon Brooks was included in the deal.

The Wizards and Suns still have interest, Woj reports, but will have to find another team to facilitate the deal unless Washington throws in another prospect as a sweetener.

How this happened

The two sides never communicated directly, using the Wizards as a conduit for communication. The Suns’ aim was to acquire draft picks and young prospects while shaving an older player who was unhappy off of their roster in Ariza.

Marshon Brooks has been in the league, out of the league, and back in the league — he’s not a desired asset at this point. Dillon Brooks has proven to be a good defender and a solid shooter at 36% within the Grizzlies system. They value him, but so do the Suns. That’s who they wanted in return.

The Wizards’ front office, serving as the center point for communication between these three teams, believed that the Grizzlies told them they were trading Dillon Brooks to the Suns while the Grizzlies maintain that they told Washington they were sending Marshon Brooks.

It’s truly unreal on the part of Ernie Grunfeld. Now, the players will return to their respective teams and the Wizards’ locker room is left in more of a rut than it was before.

What’s next?

Well, the Wizards absolutely have to find a way to deal Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers. Certainly, they understand that this is a business. But there are always hard feelings that come with the business.

The team decided to trade these guys while they were in the middle of a game. No matter how you cut it, that’s a raw deal for them. And now that they understand what their value is to the team, it’s difficult to patch that relationship up. Just look at these dudes.

The Suns still have interest in moving Ariza and the Wizards still have interest in acquiring him. The difficulty comes in finding a third team to facilitate the trade. Either they do that, or the Wizards are in a situation where they have to give up more. That simply doesn’t make sense for what could amount to a rental for half a season.

This is essentially why we don’t see more three and four team trades happen often. They’re difficult to do. Communication has to be sharp and here it was not. That’s on the Wizards. That’s on Ernie Grunfeld. Where they go from here? I honestly have no idea.