“Indiana Was Not Able to Get It All Together,” Says Grizzlies Owner About Failed OJ Mayo Trade

There isn’t a ton of info here from Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley on what exactly happened, but he has told NBA reporter extraordinaire David Aldridge that Memphis was fully on board and did not pull out.

Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley said Thursday that he and his team did not pull out of a proposed deal that would have sent guard O.J. Mayo to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for power forward Josh McRoberts and a first-round pick.

“Indiana was not able to get it all together,” Heisley said in a telephone interview. “People are going to say I have reservations (about the proposed trade). I think from our point of view, we were interested in the trade going forward. It was a very, very difficult conversation for us. It took us a long time to decide. We were getting a lot of players at the two and three position and we were getting a little skinny at the four. We had three candidates we were looking at and when we decided on one, O.J. had to be part of that trade. It wasn’t that we were anxious to get rid of him.”

Like I said … not a lot of insight into exactly why Indy wasn’t able to “get it all together.” My entirely speculative guess is that it has to do with the fact that the NBA trading deadline is insane and phones are ringing off the hook all day for basically every GM in the league. Meanwhile, Memphis was also busy acquiring Shane Battier and dealing away Hasheem Thabeet so it’s not exactly like the Pacers had their full attention.

And according to Indy Star Pacers beat writer Mike Wells, there was a third team involved, New Orleans, and they were the one that pulled out at the last minute.

Call was logged at 3:01 p.m. and Orleans was involved, but they were the team that pulled out, according to a source. Rush was going to N.O.

The fact that the call came after the 3:00 pm deadline may have also been a factor here, as multiple sources were implying earlier. Who knows? Certainly not an idiot with no league sources such as myself.

UPDATE: Here’s more from the Grizzlies side on what exactly happened, the following coming from reporter Ronald Tillery of Memphis’ Commercial Appeal. (via SBnation)

After spending all of the time and energy it took to convince Griz owner Michael Heisley to agree to trade O.J. Mayo to Indiana, the deal fell through because the teams didn’t make the NBA’s 2 p.m. deadline.

Here’s why: Memphis and Indiana agreed to swap Mayo for forward Josh McRoberts and a first-round pick but Indiana insisted on making it a three-way trade to make the deal work financially.

In the final minutes leading up to the deadline, the New Orleans Hornets pulled out. Indiana recruited another team to keep it a three-team transaction. And there’s the rub. By the time the “other” third team got involved and everything was agreed upon everyone missed the deadline.

The NBA trade deadline is a hard one. Missing it by 30 seconds might as well be missing it by 5 hours.

The fact that Indiana “insisted” on tailoring the deal to their financial needs makes it seem that, yeah, the Pacers dropped the ball here more so than it just being too difficult to work things out with Memphis. Then again, how could this work financially with just OJ and McRoberts? OJ is making $4.5 million while Josh is making less than $1 million. The salaries wouldn’t work even if the Pacers threw in Brandon Rush, who was reportedly headed to the Hornets in the three-team proposal.

Once again … Who knows?

I’m sure we will hear from the Pacers front office on the particulars eventually. (UPDATE: Bird is being evasive so far.) In the meantime, I rather enjoyed Indy fan Bubbamania’s reaction to the fact that New Orleans may have been the saboteur in this deal happening.

NBA screws pacers again, since they run N.O

Could might be, Bubba. Could might be.

Lastly, Roy Hibbert’s got jokes, too.

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Tags: David Aldridge Josh McRoberts Memphis Grizzlies Michael Heisley Mike Wells New Orleans Hornets OJ Mayo

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