A little-known quirk attached to new live trading rules could help AFL clubs, especially the Giants this year, avoid having to pass on players officially linked to them.
For the first time ever, the national draft will be held over two days, allowing for live pick swaps by clubs that open up a range of possible trade scenarios.
One obscure aspect is that clubs will be allowed to instigate trades immediately after a rival team has placed a bid on a father-son and academy prospect. However they would only have a short time to strike a deal.
HOW DOES IT WORK? Your guide to AFL draft academy and father-son bidding
If a rival club places a bid on a father-son or academy prospect, the club that player is tied to has just five minutes to decide whether to match the bid with their draft picks. OR they have the ability to trade their next draft pick to another club and match the original using their next selections, therefore ensuring a prized top pick isn’t utilised in a matching a bid.
The most feasible scenario of this happening is around the GWS Giants and Adelaide.
The Crows are set to go on a ‘bidding frenzy’ during the two-day draft event. It’s believed they are considering matching bids on Nick Blakey (Sydney Swans), Isaac Quaynor (Collingwood) and Tarryn Thomas (North Melbourne) all with their first selection, which is currently Pick 8. All three affected clubs are well placed to match those bids.
But the Giants might be sweating on the movements of Adelaide’s Pick 16.
The Giants currently hold the final pick of the first round (Pick 19). They will be hoping two things: To use that selection, as well as Picks 9 and 11, ‘naturally’, and that a bid on Under 18 All-Australian ruckman Kieren Briggs, who is tied to the Giants’ academy, doesn’t occur before Pick 19.
However, if a bid on Briggs comes from Adelaide at Pick 16, the Giants would be forced to use Pick 19 to match it.
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But now, under the new rules within the five-minute period, the Giants could theoretically trade Pick 19 (and another selection) to another club, such as Hawthorn, in exchange for its future first-round pick.
That would then allow the Giants to match the Briggs bid using their next two selections (Picks 25 and 52) while holding on to a first-round pick, albeit that would then move to the 2019 draft.
HOW IT WOULD LOOK
- Adelaide bids on Kieren Briggs with Pick 16
- Giants trade Pick 19 to Hawthorn for its 2019 first-round pick (likely to be other picks included in such a deal) within the five-minute window
- Giants match the Crows’ bid at Pick 16 with Picks 25 and 52 (GWS’ next two picks)
- Giants officially take Kieren Briggs with Pick 16
- Adelaide then will be on the clock with Pick 17
- Richmond and Brisbane would follow the Crows, before the Hawks slot into the first-round, after acquiring the Giants’ selection (originally Pick 19)
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HOW DO CLUBS WORK OUT WHEN TO PLACE BIDS?
Clubs will bid on players if they think they can secure them, but at the same time will keep clubs accountable to ensure they don’t have gun prospects walking to their club for a lower value than what they are worth.
Port Adelaide national recruiting manager Geoff Parker told reporters on Wednesday clubs would be forced to bid higher if they wanted to ensure they could secure the academy and father-son selection they have bid on.
“We go through talent order and then we sort of factor in: ‘Well if we bid for them here they are going to match, are we wasting the bid?’” Parker said.
“I can’t remember a year where there has been so many father-sons and academy players, it’s extraordinary. I think once you get past the first round into the next second and third round, it’s going to be extraordinary the amount of players that get bid for and nominated by the clubs.
“I think you try and rate them how you see them, but you’ve also got to rate them where if you actually want them. You’ve got to bid a lot higher than you probably should, otherwise the clubs just match, so that makes it a little bit difficult.
“There’s no doubt that Nick Blakey is a very talented player and he’ll get bid for very early, I’d imagine.”