1) So, what? We're going to just sit here all weekend reading about an "imminent trade" between the Memphis Grizzlies and Boston Celtics?
Yes. We have no choice.
The NBA League offices close on the weekends, and trades cannot be finalized until Monday morning when they reopen. It's nice to know in an age when we can land probes on comets and explore the surface of Mars that the NBA likes to keep it old fashioned.
Due to Boston's preferences, which were not met by Prince and a 1st round pick for Green, the Grizzlies likely spent all day looking for a 3rd team to get involved and catalyze the deal. Memphis found this team, New Orleans, too late in the evening to finalize the deal since I'm assuming, based on the idea that the NBA is closed on weekends, that they probably turn off the phones at 4:55 p.m. on Fridays.
An additional wrinkle to the situation is that it's widely believed a 3rd party isn't even necessary for Memphis/Boston to finish what they've been discussing for weeks now. But it's preferable, and there's no true urgency here other than that the Grizzlies have been dousing their once-hot record with losses.
2) So why don't they just announce that they've agreed on a trade in principle?
Well, there's always a chance that a better 3rd-team deal surfaces during the weekend. It's sort of like holding off on wearing a wedding band until you've said the vows and pronounced your marriage. While I've painted the picture a lot sleazier than it is with that analogy, it makes sense in the business world of the NBA.
I suppose another team could come along and sweeten the pot with some better draft picks, but I'm not sure how many others will rush in to take Quincy Pondexter off the Grizzlies' hands. And it seems like that's something they value, seeing as how word came out yesterday that the Grizzlies have been shopping QPon on several fronts.
3) Okay, but why are Quincy Pondexter and Jeff Green sitting out while Tayshaun Prince continues to log minutes for Memphis?
The best answer I have here is that Boston only values the expiring contract and isn't worried about his functionality. It's a fairly sad ending to a season for Tayshaun. I'm sure he knew a trade would likely come (they tried to trade him during the 2014 NBA Draft as well), but to cap off your season by going to a tanking team who has no interest in actually playing you for any purpose has got to take a mental toll.
If there's truly nothing hinging on Prince's health, Grizzlies fans should at least get to give him a true farewell tomorrow afternoon when the Grizzlies host the Phoenix Suns in Memphis.