When a player leaves in free agency, typically teams would rather do a sign and trade, as that means they wouldn't lose assets when players decide to leave. As a free agent, a sign and trade is convenient when you want to get to your destination and you're capped out. There are a lot of moving parts to a sign and trade agreement: just look at Bogdan Bogdanovic and the Milwaukee Bucks, where the sign and trade failed. Or the Gordon Hayward sign and trade to Indiana. They are not necessarily hard to execute, rather there is just a lot of moving parts.
One failed attempt at a sign and trade was with former Clippers free agent, Monrezl Harrell. The Los Angeles Clippers didn't want to pay Harrell but were willing to accommodate another team. The Los Angeles Lakers had something to say about that.
Amick's report features opinions on the Lakers and Clippers from scouts and front-office executives. One opined talked that the signing was not only the Lakers' gain, but it also took Harrell away from their "biggest competitor" in the Clippers. The Lakers killed two birds with one stone, signing a big man to replace Dwight Howard while crippling an opponent's roster.
The Los Angeles Lakers front office has proven to be savvy time and time again. Rob Pelinka has pulled chess moves to field a more competitive roster around LeBron James; this is just one move that may pay off immensely shortly.