After what proved to be a wild night of trade talks involving the Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies, it seemed a three-team deal was done Friday. Unfortunately, a bit of miscommunication led to the entire deal falling apart. After Trevor Ariza was set to head to the Wizards, things stalled and everything took a step back. Fortunately, that changed again on Saturday as Washington and Phoenix were able to get a deal done.
As The Athletic’s Shams Charania revealed, the Suns are sending Ariza to the Wizards in exchange for Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers.
This is somewhat similar to the deal originally reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. That one also included Ariza going to the Wizards but had Kelly Oubre going to the Memphis Grizzlies and Austin Rivers, MarShon/Dillon Brooks (that was the confusion) and Wayne Selden heading to the Suns.
Confusion in Original Trade
After the mix-up involving the Suns believing they were trading for Dillon Brooks and the Grizzlies believing it was MarShon Brooks, the deal fell apart. As Wojnarowski revealed, the deal was considered “dead” at that point, but shortly after it came to light that the two sides were attempting to keep the deal alive and re-open talks.
It was a wild turn of events and led to the internet going wild over a head-scratching situation. It seemed likely the Wizards and Suns would figure out some way to still get a deal done, and they did manage to do just that.
With that said, let’s take a look at how the Wizards roster currently looks after the trade, as it’ll likely feature a new group of starters.
Wizards Roster & Starting Lineup With Trevor Ariza
*Notates projected starter
C: Dwight Howard* (injured), Thomas Bryant, Ian Mahinmi
PF: Otto Porter*, Markieff Morris, Jeff Green, Okaro White
SF: Trevor Ariza*, Sam Dekker, Troy Brown
SG: Bradley Beal*, Tomas Satoransky, Devin Robinson, Jordan McRae
PG: John Wall*, Chasson Randle
The deal makes things interesting for the Wizards but originally (even before the new deal) came with a bit of backlash from fans. A part of that has to do with the fact that this leaves the team incredibly thin at point guard behind John Wall. With that said, Tomas Satoransky and Bradley Beal are both capable of running the point.
This drama all came shortly after the trade rumors previously swirling around Washington cooled off quite a bit. It was originally believed a few of the key pieces for the Wizards could be on the move, but the deal to send Oubre and Rivers is interesting. It seems the team believed they may have a hard time re-signing Oubre when he becomes a free agent in the offseason.
Even with this trade now happening, it obviously doesn’t mean the Wizards won’t remain active and possibly even move one of their key pieces, but there’s a reason to believe they’ve improved their starting unit. Specifically, the addition of Ariza improves things on the defensive end and adds an additional 3-point shooter.
As things stand, Washington sits with an 11-18 record, which currently leaves them in the No. 11 seed in the Eastern Conference. They are just 2.5 games out of the No. 8 spot.