In a bid to improve their depleted roster in December 2018, the Memphis Grizzlies engaged in trade talks with the Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns. A three-team deal was agreed upon in which the Grizz would acquire Kelly Oubre from Washington. Washington sent Austin Rivers to Phoenix and Trevor Ariza was sent to Washington. Memphis conveyed Wayne Selden and MarShon Brooks to the Phoenix Suns. Just one problem.
The trade was announced, and the players discovered their fate, but a huge error was found.
Apparently, Phoenix assumed they were receiving Dillon Brooks, a promising young 3-and-D sharpshooter, not MarShon, who was seven years older. Dillon Brooks was never traded and is still a key cog of the Grizzlies while MarShon’s NBA career is currently continuing in China.
The Grizzlies lost focus after the snafu, losing 19 of their next 22 games. It also put them in a position to win the lottery and draft Ja Morant. If the trade had gone through, Memphis would have integrated Kelly Oubre into a lineup that included Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Dillon Brooks, and Jaren Jackson Jr. That’s a formidable team in the first two rounds of the Western Conference championship and while they wouldn’t have been capable of challenging Golden State’s Hamptons 5, it would have also delayed Memphis trading Marc Gasol to Toronto at the deadline where he went on to anchor the defense for the eventual champions.