The Washington Wizards pulled off one of the first big trades in the NBA trade season when they sent Rui Hachimura to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Kendrick Nunn and three second-round draft picks. But this may not have been the Wizards top option when it came to trading Hachimura, as they were recently turned down by the Phoenix Suns in an attempt to land Jae Crowder in exchange for Hachimura.

There was a lot of initial confusion as to why this deal wouldn’t go through, as it would seem to benefit both sides. It may not have been as straightforward as advertised, though, and it sounds like we may know why the Suns didn’t pull the trigger on this deal. It sounds like the Milwaukee Bucks were involved as a third team, but the sides couldn’t agree on a trade because the Wizards didn’t want to take on any long-term money in this deal.

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“League sources confirm that the Wizards and Suns began discussing Rui Hachimura trade concepts in December, as I reported at the time, but one source with knowledge of the talks says I erred by printing the sourced notion that Phoenix turned down a package headlined by Hachimura. The consistent impediment to those talks, according to the source, was Washington’s desire to move Jae Crowder on to Milwaukee in a three-way trade without taking back long-term salary. The Wizards were prepared for Crowder’s inclusion only if they could move him on at a minimal cost. The Bucks’ interest in trading for Crowder has likewise never wavered and remains strong, sources say, but Milwaukee and Phoenix could not assemble a three-way deal to Washington’s liking.” – Marc Stein

This is an interesting note, as it looks like it was the Wizards, not the Suns, who held up this potential three-team deal. Even more interesting is that they never intended to keep Crowder on their roster, but were simply going to flip him to the Bucks, who have never been shy in their interest for Crowder. So while a deal didn’t get done here, don’t be surprised if the Suns and Bucks ultimately find a way to make a deal for Crowder over the next week or so.