AFL trade news and rumours Day 5 wrap: Jake Lever, Devon Smith, Jarman Impey, Matthew Kennedy

Josh Elliott Editor

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    Trades! Finally, after days of waiting, three deals were done on Thursday, seeing Jake Lever join Melbourne, Devon Smith move to Essendon, and Jarman Impey traded to Hawthorn.

    Jake Lever, pick 35 and Adelaide Crows’ 2018 third-round pick traded to Melbourne Demons for pick 10, Melbourne Demons’ 2018 first-round pick and Melbourne Demons’ 2018 fourth-round pick.

    If there was a betting market on who would be the first player to officially move clubs this off-season you could’ve made a killing on this one if you saw it coming.

    A week ago this deal seemed bound to end in bad blood and bitter feuding, with the threat of Lever going to the pre-season draft firmly on the table.

    Melbourne clearly decided to come around on their reluctance to trade away two first-rounders, in exchange for getting a little bit of value back the other way.

    For mine, this is as close to a win-win trade as you will probably find. Melbourne have landed an elite, generational player who will be part of their side for a decade, while Adelaide have plenty of opportunity to find one (or two!) of their own through the draft picks they’ve acquired in return.

    Either side could be looking back on this one in a decade’s time and saying they’re happy with the result, and there’s every chance both will. That, to me, is the sign of a good fair trade.

    Some folks are a little more sceptical though. Ryan Buckland has written a good piece saying the Demons have sold the farm in this one, read it here.

    Jake Lever Adelaide Crows AFL 2016

    (AAP Image/Ben Macmahon)

    Devon Smith, pick 24 and GWS Giants’ 2018 second-round pick traded to Essendon Bombers for pick 11 and Essendon Bombers’ 2018 third-round pick.

    Essendon faced a difficult choice as to which of their three targets to go hard at first, and if you ask me they’ve picked the right one.

    I’ve seen more than a few people criminally underrating Devon Smith on social media over the past few days – yes, he’s had a little injury trouble at times, but he’s a genuine gun.

    Wind him up and watch him go in the Bombers’ midfield next year. He’s every chance of being 2018’s ‘recruit of the year’.

    The Bombers paid a fair price to get him, giving up their first-round selection but getting back some valuable bargaining chips to spin into other deals.

    A pick somewhere in the 20-30 range is probably about fair for the Gold Coast Suns when it comes to Adam Saad and this should be Essendon’s next priority to lock down.

    After that they can go to the table with the Western Bulldogs and say this is what we’ve got, make the best you can of it.

    As for the Giants, this is a good result – one high pick is more valuable to them than a bunch of later ones, simply because they have only limited room on their list to draft and retain youth.

    They may well take this pick to the draft, but don’t be surprised if they manoeuvre it into more deals to come before the deadline.

    Devon Smith GWS Giants AFL 2017 tall

    (AAP Image/Craig Golding)

    Jarman Impey and pick 67 traded from Port Adelaide Power to Hawthorn Hawks for pick 33, pick 61 and Hawthorn Hawks’ 2018 fourth-round draft pick.

    This was a fairly amicable deal between two clubs who were both happy to make the swap, though who knows why the felt the need to engage in the thumb twiddling that was swapping picks in the 60s and a future fourth-rounder.

    Hawthorn confirmed that Impey has signed a three-year deal with the club so will be contracted there until the end of 2020.

    Impey’s career had stalled at Port Adelaide so it will be interesting to see what the Hawks can do with him. Power fans should hope it’s not anything like Shaun Burgoyne!

    Fairly short odds though that the best thing to come out of the deal for either club will be this unorthodox announcement from the Hawks’ social media team.

    In other news, Carlton face some competition for Matthew Kennedy it seems. Although the out-of-contract Giant has nominated them as his preferred destination, Brisbane are still interested in his services should the Blues be unable to do a deal.

    The Lions could potentially offer pick 18 or 19 for Kennedy, and have the threat of holding the first pick in the pre-season draft if Carlton should let him slide to there.

    I’d doubt there’s any real chance of Kennedy changing his mind and being willing to move to the Lions, but a rival offer on the table will certainly put a little pressure on Carlton to pony up a fair price.

    Speaking of fair prices, Melbourne have said they want an early second-round draft pick in return for Jack Watts – however, given they’re the ones pushing him out, I’d suspect they will ultimately settle for something a bit later in the order.

    Pick 30 or 33 from Port Adelaide looks like about the right price if Watts opts to go there.

    Port Adelaide’s Matthew Lobbe has again been linked to a move to the Brisbane Lions, with Gold Coast also said to be interested. Brisbane seems like a better fit for Lobbe, if you ask me.

    Melbourne, having done their deal for Jake Lever, have formally confirmed their interest in Harley Balic. He hasn’t nominated a preferred destination, but reportedly had a medical with the Demons earlier this week and should land there for a late pick.

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.

    Visit The Roar's AFL Trade Rumours hub to keep updated with all the latest trade news and rumours - every player, every club - in 2017.