WHO SAYS NO?
Yeah, I am pinching this from a US Podcast, but let’s be honest, the nature of writing, and most creative outlets is to take an aspect of what someone is doing and make it unique to you.
So, thanks Bill Simmons – love your work. Let’s apply this to the AFL with Trade Week on the horizon.
Below are some trade scenarios that may or may not be likely this coming off-season. Some are outlandish. Some are out of the blue. Some may never see the light of day beyond this page, and that’s okay – I have fun speculating, and if you guys want to chime in, I’m all good with entertaining your wild and wacky suggestions and scenarios as well.
This off-season is set to be one of the most active in memory. Already, players are reported as having agreed to deals… how dare the AFL schedule Grand Final week right in the middle of the unofficial trade and free agency period! Alex Keath wants to be a Bulldog. Paddy Ryder wants to be a Saint, and Brad Hill should be headed there as well.
Given what you know, or what you think you know, or even what you have no idea about, which club would be the one to disagree to these scenarios? Who says no?
ESSENDON RECEIVES – SAM POWELL-PEPPER. SECOND ROUND PICK
PORT ADELAIDE RECEIVES – ORAZIO FANTASIA
Where there is smoke, there’s fire, and when Fantasia was rumoured to want out of Essendon earlier this season, there was a little bit of the black stuff floating into the atmosphere. It was shut down by Fantasia, but as of this morning, his name is being thrown around again as a potential trade target and he has got rid of his manager. It might mean nothing, but what if it means something?
The Bombers lack an inside mid. They lack power and grunt at stoppages. I like that Merrett and Heppell try, but they’re not contest-winners on a consistent basis, especially when they’re matched up against true inside mids. Powell-Pepper changes that. Wildly inconsistent, he is just 21 years old – people forget that, and will blossom into a powerhouse when his head catches up with his ability.
Fantasia is coming off a second injury-interrupted season, but would provide a great foil for Robbie Gray as a second small forward, particularly if Sam Gray does as expected and wanders off to St Kilda.
Who says no?
ADELAIDE RECEIVES – PICK TWO
GOLD COAST RECEIVES – BRAD CROUCH, HUGH GREENWOOD AND JOSH JENKINS
So, this is a very interchangeable scenario.
On the Gold Coast end, they have either pick two (priority) or Jack Lukosius (if he lets them know he has no intention of re-signing) to play with. They can still retain their first overall pick to select who they choose, and come out of this off-season with a group of season players (throw Brandon Ellis into the mix as well) as well as another potential star youngster. They’ll also get Izak Rankine after a wasted first year on the Coast due to injury.
The Crows are looking to bolster their draft stocks, and securing a top two pick in a draft that has two clearly identified guns, would hold them in good stead moving forward. Combine that with the Carlton pick (pick four) and if the Crows choose to move to secure a star, they will have ample assets to play with.
Greenwood was squeezed out of the midfield whilst trying to compete for a spot with Sloane, matt Crouch and Cam Ellis-Yolmen, so an opportunity for the 27 year old with a team to grow with is ideal. The money won’t be too bad either.
Brad Crouch, if he is able to stay healthy, could be transformational for Gold Coast, and Josh Jenkins, though often maligned is a good second option up forward, and would be a great sidekick to the Peter Wright/Ben King duo as they develop. Yes, Suns fans, I know he is not exactly what you want, and his shelf life may be shorter than the player age-window you’re looking at, but his is basically a throw in here, and has stated he is willing to take less coin to continue his career. Prior to this season, he kicked 40+ goals for five straight years. All of a sudden this season, the Crows didn’t like the way he was playing? He is one of just 14 players with 5+ games under their belt in 2019 to average 2+ goals per game. He is far from a spent force.
As for the Suns – hell, they gave up a pick two for Lachie Weller. This is a sound investment in comparison.
WEST COAST RECEIVES – TIM KELLY
GEELONG RECEIVES – TWO FIRST ROUND PICKS
Let the mind games begin, huh?
Chris Scott has already started (after his finals “mind games” worked so well, right?), claiming Kelly is worth four first rounders and Dustin Martin. Well, considering West Coast doesn’t possess Dustin Martin to toy with, they’re going to have to offer picks. There is also the problem that they don’t have picks currently, and Geelong are not particularly interested in players due to salary cap constraints.
So, how do the Eagles go about collecting these picks? I’m glad you asked. See below.
NORTH MELBOURNE RECEIVES – ANDREW GAFF
WEST COAST RECEIVES – PICK 8 AND PICK 26
Holy shit… what if North end up with Andrew Gaff after all? Would West Coast be willing to part with a man who pledged his loyalty last year to have a shot at redemption this season?
If you want quality, you have to give up quality, and as highly as Andrew Gaff is rated, his season this year did not produce the level that was expected of him. He got plenty of the ball, but nowhere near the quality required. And the redemption arc for Gaff really didn’t play out well, did it? He has an “out clause” in his six year deal with the Eagles he can exercise after next season – if you’re the Eagles, why wait? Talk to him now and see what he’s thinking.
If North really want Gaff, will they be willing to give up plenty to get him? Would they surrender their top two picks this year and possibly even one from 2020 to get their hands on their man when they could get him at the end of 2020 without having to trade? Would they risk him changing his mind again?
This deal would leave West Coast in a position to actually deal for Kelly, effectively being able to offer picks 8 from North as well as their own first pick to Geelong for the star. It’s a high price to pay, but if you want a player like Tim Kelly, he won’t come cheap and Geelong seem very reluctant to part ways with him for less than a premium – the Chris Scott mind games at their best, huh?
In a nutshell both the scenario plays out like this – the Cats lose Kelly, the Eagles lose Gaff, and the Roos lose draft picks.
The Cats gain draft picks, the Eagles gain Kelly and the Kangaroos finally get their man in Gaff.
Are the Eagles willing to lose Gaff and a high pick for Kelly? Are North still eager to acquire the run and carry of Gaff? And will this package satisfy the Cats? Who says no?
MELBOURNE RECEIVES – ED LANGDON. SECOND ROUND PICK
FREMANTLE RECEIVES – ANGUS BRAYSHAW
Whoa Mongrel, you’re nuts! Yep, I think we’ve already come to that conclusion, but there is a fine line between genius and insanity, and I reckon I’m walking it here. Angus Brayshaw did not look like a happy camper this season. Inexplicably on the outer in the midfield rotation at times, the third-place getter in the 2018 Brownlow was way down on his expected output.
In effect, he was squeezed out of the midfield due to Melbourne having plenty of soldiers to play the clearance role. No one is displacing Clayton Oliver in there. Jack Viney has a reserved spot as well. And you need someone playing the defensive mid role, and that falls to James Harmes. It forced Brayshaw outside and he floundered.
In trading for Langdon, the Dees get the outside run and polish they lack and clear a bit of a glut at the inside mid position. For the Dockers, they’d be reuniting Angus with his brother Andrew, and with Hamish Brayshaw across town at West Coast, all of a sudden having all three Brayshaw boys in the same neck of the woods doesn’t sound too crazy, does it?
The goalposts may move a little in terms of specifics, but for Freo, having a player the quality of Angus Brayshaw to aid Fyfe would be amazing. Surely they’re going to ask the question?
HAWTHORN/NORTH MELBOURE/COLLINGWOOD/ ESSENDON RECEIVES – DOUGAL HOWARD
PORT ADELAIDE RECEIVES – FIRST OR FUTURE FIRST ROUND PICK, OR POSSIBLY A HIGH SECOND ROUND PICK
I have no idea how this bloke is flying under the radar. Trued up forward this season, which didn’t work, Howard looked as though he lost confidence after Ken Hinkley appeared to lose confidence in him as a defender.
I have lost no faith in him.
Last season, there were two young standout defenders. Harris Andrews and Dougal Howard. We do remember that Howard broke the record for spoils in a game last season, right? He is a potential All-Australian, and if Port was happy to entertain parting ways with him (his absence after Round 19 indicates either they don’t have a place for him in their current defence, and prefer the Todd Marshall/Charlie Dixon combination up forward) then he is an option well worth exploring.
As many of you know, I am a Hawthorn man – I would love him at the Hawks.
So I am happy to post a few more over the coming week or so, but it’ll all depend on how savage you Mongrels are about my hypotheticals, and whether your suggestions are any better.