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The Trades – Did your club pass or fail trade period test?


After delivering a bumper crop of recruits, Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro is all smiles on the final day of the trade period. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The Trades – Did your club pass or fail trade period test?

Benjamin Savona    

ADELAIDE: B
GAINED: Bryce Gibbs, Sam Gibson
LOST: Jake Lever, Harrison Wigg, Charlie Cameron
DRAFT PICKS: 12, 39, 77, 109

Aside from making a name for themselves as one of the more difficult teams to deal with in trade period, it was a rollercoaster affair for the Crows. They were did extremely well in the Lever deal to prize a future first-round pick out of the Demons, as well as an extra 2017 first round. Many will argue that they overpaid for Bryce Gibbs and coupled with losing Lever, that made them losers in the period. But the left-field inclusion of Sam Gibson and the addition of pick 12 for Charlie Cameron made it an ultimately successful trade period. Pressure to win a flag in this window, however, is quickly mounting.

BRISBANE LIONS: B+
GAINED: Charlie Cameron, Luke Hodge
LOST: Josh Schache, Tom Rockliff
DRAFT PICKS: 1, 15, 18, 40, 44, 52, 93

The Lions were a dark horse to be one of the best teams this trade period, right up until the final couple of minutes. Pick 12 seemed the likely and correct price for a contracted Charlie Cameron and he will ultimately make Brisbane a better team. The inclusion of Luke Hodge will do wonders for the development of the younger players on the Brisbane list and for the level of talent that he brings, they realistically paid nothing. It was the trading of Josh Schache at the death that lost it for me. For all his issues and inconsistencies, Schache is worth much more than picks 25 and 40. It seemed like a panic trade and the Lions ultimately could have walked away with a first-round pick for him had he put together a somewhat more consistent year.

CARLTON: A
GAINED: Matt Kennedy, Darcy Lang, Matthew Lobbe
LOST: Bryce Gibbs
DRAFT PICKS: 3, 10, 30, 73

Carlton was very nearly my winner of the trade period. The Blues were bold and precise in what they wanted, showing they have a clear vision of where the team is and where they expect it to be in five years’ time. The blockbuster trade, which went through on deadline day, Bryce Gibbs’ move to Adelaide, showed a commitment to building youth for the future. This is the last year that Gibbs would demand two first-round draft picks. It was a ruthless approach, but they cashed in when the stocks were at their highest and despite losing a seriously talented player at the peak of his powers, Carlton has put itself in a great spot. I also believe that in years to come when we look back at this tumultuous trade period, Matthew Kennedy finding his way to the Blues for a second-round pick might be the steal of the lot. I rate this kid highly and it’s another big tick for list manager Stephen Silvagni. Darcy Lang has proven that he can play at the highest level in big games and acquiring him for essentially a packet of Twisties will bode well for 2018. Lang will have an immediate impact in the 22. The only reason Carlton doesn’t receive top marks is that I’m unsure about the acquisition of Matthew Lobbe, or to be more precise, Matthew Lobbe’s ludicrous contract, which the Blues will be paying in full. Time will tell.

COLLINGWOOD: B-
GAINED: Sam Murray
LOST: Nil
DRAFT PICKS: 6, 38, 56, 61, 70, 80, 98

The Pies didn’t make many waves at all this trade period, but in saying that, they didn’t pull another Chris Mayne, so I guess this should be considered a win in comparison. The only shake they made was trading for Sam Murray, a rookie-listed Sydney defender with a raking left foot. With late picks shuffled and it all getting a bit murky, Collingwood essentially parted ways with a future second-round pick. Personally, I think that is a hell of a lot for an untried kid, but those in the know believe you won’t find a kid like him around that pick this year. The jury’s still out for me and I would have seriously liked Collingwood to address their forward line issues with Josh Schache. It is pretty evident the Pies are putting together a war chest for Gold Coast’s Tom Lynch next year… good luck to them.

ESSENDON: A+
GAINED: Devon Smith, Adam Saad, Jake Stringer
LOST: Nil
DRAFT PICKS: 48, 67, 85, 103

Whatever people thought about Adrian Dodoro prior to this trade period, the Essendon list manager has proved himself one of the best in the business the last two weeks. Smith, Saad and Stringer. That is some serious firepower across the ground and he got each player relatively cheaply, none more so than Jake Stringer. To have had pick 11 on the table for a Stringer and second-round pick and to walk away with the All-Australian for picks 25 and 30 is some kind of effort. Essendon kept its cool and didn’t blink. Not once. If Stringer can maximise his potential in a new environment, picks 25 and 30 look even worse for the Bulldogs. The three additions might make Essendon’s team next year one of the quickest, most attacking in recent history… and by God they will be fun to watch.

FREMANTLE: A+
GAINED: Nathan Wilson, Brandon Matera
LOST: Harley Balic, Lachie Weller, Hayden Crozier
DRAFT PICKS: 2, 5, 42, 60, 66, 71, 79, 83, 97

The Fremantle recruiting team was phenomenal this year. The biggest trade of the lot was securing pick 2 for Lachie Weller at the death on deadline day. To get itself that high in the draft and have two picks in the top 5 is a win in every single way. Add the talent of Nathan Wilson to the team and Fremantle’s list looks better than it has in a long while. Big tick.

GEELONG: B+
GAINED: Gary Ablett
LOST: Steven Motlop, Darcy Lang
DRAFT PICKS: 22, 24, 35, 58, 72, 90, 108

I’m not fussed either way about Geelong’s trade period. If you bring Gary Ablett into your team, you’ve done pretty well, one would have thought. Losing Steven Motlop was inevitable and it might just be a monkey off the back moment that will free up a little bit of salary cap room. Darcy Lang was always going to struggle to break into the Geelong midfield, especially with Ablett returning, and not offering him a new contract made sense. So it’s a tick for now, but the Cats need to win a flag in the Ablett era to justify the hypocritical flip on their youth policy.

GOLD COAST: B
GAINED: Harrison Wigg, Aaron Young, Lachie Weller
LOST: Adam Saad, Gary Ablett, Brandon Matera
DRAFT PICKS: 19, 41, 50, 54, 76, 94

Contrary to most, I’m really happy with the Suns’ trade period this year. Yes, they have been battered for parting with pick 2 in the draft for Lachie Weller, but I think it was the correct move. With Ablett leaving, so did a lot of the club’s identity, Weller is an opportunity for it to be recast to fans and the Gold Coast at large. I’m going to crystal ball a little bit here… Weller will be an elite talent. He already has shown he is extremely talented, he wants to be at the Gold Coast and he is fit, ready and able. The chances of pick 2 wanting to go home are almost as large as they are for him to stay. And he actually wants to play for the Suns. That doesn’t happen often! Harrison Wigg was a nice pick-up, and I believe he’ll be in their best 22 by the end of next year while Aaron Young has shown in patches what he is capable of. At the very least, he is a like-for-like replacement for Matera. Pick 19 for Ablett was also better than expected, so chalk that up as another win. The loss of Adam Saad will hurt Gold Coast’s pace, but it was one of those trades that just seemed inevitable.

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY: B-
GAINED: Nil
LOST: Devon Smith, Matt Kennedy, Nathan Wilson
DRAFT PICKS: 11, 27, 28, 57, 65, 89, 107

The Giants lost a lot of serious talent. There’s no beating around the bush, the loss of Nathan Wilson is rather large, Matthew Kennedy would have found his way into the 22 next year, and Devon Smith is not a player to sneeze at. They found their way back into the first round, but this wasn’t a win of a period for the Giants. And next year will be interesting.

HAWTHORN: B
GAINED: Jarman Impey
LOST: Luke Hodge
DRAFT PICKS: 43, 68, 75, 81, 99

Hawthorn didn’t really do much, having sold the farm in last year’s trade period for Jaeger O’Meara and Tom Mitchell. Jarman Impey was a nice addition to the team, adding dash to a side that looked rather lacklustre at times in the 2017 season. The Hawks didn’t go backwards and may have marginally crept forward. Did what they needed to do.

MELBOURNE: B
GAINED: Jake Lever, Harley Balic
LOST: Jack Watts
DRAFT PICKS: 29, 31, 36, 47, 84, 102

The Demons had the potential to be the out-and-out winners of this trade period before it even began, but it wasn’t to be. Jake Lever is a serious addition, let’s not mince words. But was two first-round picks overs? Probably. Was it wise to part with a prized 2018 first-rounder? Probably not. Is Melbourne a better team in 2018 for the trade? Absolutely. Like many others, I have an issue with the Jack Watts trade. After sticking with him for so many awful years, shipping him off when he finally starts to come good just doesn’t make sense to me. And shipping him off for pick 31 makes even less sense. I reckon Watts was worth a late first-round to early second-round pick. Melbourne did steady the ship again when stealing Harley Balic, who had requested a trade home to Victoria weeks ago, though. This kid has all the makings of a superstar. I hope Melbourne finds a way to get the best out of him, it could be a massive win.

NORTH MELBOURNE: D
GAINED: Nil
LOST: Sam Gibson
DRAFT PICKS: 4, 23, 64, 78, 91, 96

A whole lot of charades for not much. If I was a North fan, I’d be extremely disappointed in this trade period. For a club boasting a massive war chest, the Roos seriously needed to land a big fish… or a little fish… or anyone. I understand that a large number of players just simply didn’t want to go to North, which is an entirely different issue, but the list management team just had to get something done. It can’t even be said that they are posing a major hand in the draft with picks 4 and 23 their earliest. Another year of blooding kids won’t go astray, but the Roos really need to do something next year.

PORT ADELAIDE: A+
GAINED: Tom Rockliff, Steven Motlop, Jack Watts
LOST: Jackson Trengove, Jarman Impey, Brendon Ah Chee, Logan Austin, Aaron Young, Matthew Lobbe
DRAFT PICKS: 46, 49, 59, 62, 63, 86, 95, 104

Surely the winners of the trade period this year. I don’t know when it happened, but Port Adelaide has suddenly become a destination club. It isn’t just a matter of who the Power brought in, it’s what they didn’t have to give up to bring in such talent. Jack Watts for pick 31 and Tom Rockliff as a free agent make the Power an infinitely better team. I’m a Jack Watts believer, obviously, but I also shudder to think how good the Power might be having Rockliff and Robbie Gray rotating through the forward line. Ticks everywhere. Port should be a top four team next year.

RICHMOND: B
GAINED: Nil
LOST: Nil
DRAFT PICKS: 17, 20, 25, 53, 55, 74, 92, 110

I don’t think Richmond did badly at all. The biggest feat of the two-week period was not losing any depth. Retaining Anthony Miles, Sam Lloyd and Ben Lennon is a big tick. But Richmond could have had a dip in the trade market and bolstered an extremely strong unit, perhaps making a bid for Jack Watts or Josh Schache, because there is still a large hole in the forward structure. Pick swaps later in the piece were smart, obviously a push to secure father-son prospect Patrick Naish in the draft.

ST KILDA: D
GAINED: Logan Austin
LOST: Nil
DRAFT PICKS: 7, 8, 34, 45, 100

St Kilda was equal worst for me out of this trade period. Similarly to North Melbourne, the Saints talked a big game with salary cap space and didn’t do a thing with it. They lost Nick Reiwoldt and Leigh Montagna this year and added Logan Austin. Do you need to say much more? After losing the race for Dustin Martin and Josh Kelly’s signature, they were stagnant, and were never even close to a realistic shot at getting the Giants’ Adam Tomlinson. Whatever, St Kilda needed to pick up more than Logan Austin.

SYDNEY: B
GAINED: Nil
LOST: Sam Murray
DRAFT PICKS: 14, 33, 51, 88, 106

Sydney came into the trade period and did a job through not doing much. The Swans are obviously still confident that their list is in a very good spot and looking at their young talent coming through, it’s hard to argue. Their one move was to secure a future second-round pick that they are obviously looking to use in next year’s draft to secure father-son prospect Nick Blakey, who has been touted as a seriously talented player.

WEST COAST: B-
GAINED: Brendon Ah Chee
LOST: Nil
DRAFT PICKS: 13, 21, 26, 32, 37, 69, 87, 105

Another team that came in with a clear plan and idea of where its list is at. It’s back to the draft for the Eagles, and they’re in good position to attack it, too, after stockpiling a plethora of picks in the first two rounds. Perhaps giving up a future first-round pick given the strength of the 2018 draft is a risk, but I respect West Coast’s vision, the club obviously has a strong idea of who it wants in this year’s class. Brendon Ah Chee is a modest but talented inclusion who will most likely be in the Eagles’ best 22 next year.

WESTERN BULLDOGS: B
GAINED: Jackson Trengove, Hayden Crozier, Josh Schache
LOST: Jake Stringer
DRAFT PICKS: 9, 16, 82, 101

Before landing Schache, the Dogs seemed to have had a bitterly disappointing trade period. They’d passed on a better offer for Stringer from Essendon involving pick 11, then blinked on their original claim that Stringer was worth a first-round pick, and a high first-round pick at that. But for me, landing Schache on the buzzer for peanuts, relatively speaking, has redeemed the entire period. Picks 25 and 40 seem extreme unders for the young forward if he can capitalise on his potential. Trengove and Crozier are both solid additions to the team. But a massive last hour from the Dogs essentially saved their mark.

1 Comment
  1. “shipping Watts off when he finally starts to come good” – that’s where you went wrong. Watts’ 2017, excluding the odd moment, was bog ordinary.

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