As it often does, mayhem struck the NBA on Friday evening. In short, a three-team trade involving the Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies fell apart when two of the parties could not decide on which player with the last name of Brooks (no, really) would be included in the swap. That, of course, was hilarious on a number of levels but, hours later, the Suns and Wizards were able to consummate a trade that sent Trevor Ariza to Washington in exchange for Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers.
As such, the damage done by the initial disaster was minimal but, after the three-way deal dissipated, the Suns reportedly went to the Los Angeles Lakers to work on a trade that would have sent Ariza back to one of his former teams. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN brings word that the two sides “re-engaged” in talks and the Suns worked directly with Ariza’s agent in attempt to make a deal work. However, the Lakers were reportedly “unwilling to include one of their core young players in the trade” and that stance led Phoenix back to Washington.
There isn’t much in the way of surprise here. The Lakers almost certainly would have benefited from adding Ariza to the mix but, with that said, Los Angeles has bigger fish to fry in the future and, as a result, holding back their prime trade assets (Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart) makes sense.
All along, the reported interest on the Lakers side was seemingly contingent with a deal that involved a third team, simply because the logistics weren’t there for Los Angeles to land Ariza through more conventional means. In the end, the Wizards had that direct path to a deal and Ariza will be operating in the nation’s capital because of it.