Posted by Matt Moore
The Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies had agreed to a trade Thursday. Maybe. They may have. I mean, it seems they had an agreement, at one point, on something involving O.J. Mayo going to Indiana in exchange for Josh McRoberts and a first round pick. It wasn't a great haul for the Grizzlies, but it wasn't anything terrible, either. It gave them a versatile power forward to back up Zach Randolph and a draft pick, which they need all they can get of since they draft so terribly, and they were sending another one out for Shane Battier.
But, then, of course, what happens with the Grizzlies so often happened to the Grizzlies, and things fell apart. What, exactly? Well, that depends on who you ask. From the Memphis Commercial Appeal:
But the deal was never consummated because the teams missed the NBA’s 2 p.m. deadline.
“Despite published reports, O.J. was not traded,” Griz general manager Chris Wallace said in a text.
Based on conversations with sources who have knowledge of the situation, a third team -- New Orleans -- was involved in the negotiations to make the financial aspects of the deal meet NBA rules. Late in the talks, New Orleans pulled out, leaving the Grizzlies and Pacers scrambling for another partner. Another team was found and agreements were made, but the 2 p.m. deadline had passed.via Grizzlies trade Thabeet for Battier; Mayo-to-Pacers deal never completed » The Commercial Appeal.
Oh, okay. These things happen. New Orleans pulled out of the deal as teams often do. Except, there's this from the Indianapolis Star:
Sources told The Star, though, that the Pacers called the league at 3 p.m. to notify them of the three-team deal, and were on hold, waiting to get into the league's queue, when the deadline passed at 3:01 p.m. While the Pacers were waiting, New Orleans apparently backed out of the deal -- which wouldn't have been consummated anyway, since the league insisted it was 3:01.via Kravitz: Pacers blow chance to add draft-lottery talent at bargain price | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com.
Now, on the surface, it certainly looks like Indiana was the one to blow this up. I mean, really, you're calling the office at 3 p.m.? You had four days post All-Star Break to get this done and you're calling at 3 p.m.? You would have had a potentially significant trade rejected had New Orleans not backed out because you were on hold? Come on, now.
Except that the Pacers weren't the ones with the situation. O.J. Mayo has been on the block for months. Ownership and management have repeatedly denied that they were considering trading Mayo, but clearly, that was a lie. They've had a months since the fight with Tony Allen, a month since he was suspended for violating the banned substance policy, a half season since the coaching staff openly questioned his ability in preseason and he started out on a disastrous shooting slump. But there they are, at the deadline, hoping there's an operator standing by when so many teams are getting deals in. In that respect Indiana's not alone in calling the trade in. It's how it works as bizarre as it is. But Memphis should not have allowed it to come to this.
Because now Mayo knows the franchise has no investment in him, no confidence in him, no trust in him. And he has to make it through the rest of this season with that hanging over him.
Mayo may have acted like he lacks common sense this season at time. If so, it seems like he learned it from the top down.