After an uneventful opening week to the 2019 AFL trade period, Day 8 saw the dam wall break as a flurry of trades got completed ahead of tomorrow’s 7:30pm (AEDT) deadline.
While the futures of Joe Daniher, Tom Papley and Brad Hill remain unsolved, significant progress was made on the latter’s quest to get to St Kilda, with the Saints making the biggest trade of the day as they look to shore up capital to prize the winger away from Fremantle.
In a deal that will likely get debated for some time, Port Adelaide sent Paddy Ryder, Dougal Howard, pick 10 and their 2020 fourth-round pick to Moorabbin in exchange for picks 12, 18 and a 2020 third-rounder.
Power fans – including Kane Cornes – were furious over the move, with the decision to move on a 23-year-old key position player in Howard already controversial in itself, but the fact Ken Hinkley’s side downgraded their first-round pick in the process too also proved unpopular.
For the Saints, however, they look to have finally locked in the missing pieces of the Brad Hill puzzle, with pick 10 looming as the crown jewel in their offering to the Dockers.
Earlier, it was reported a number of complex five-or-six team trades could pave the way for the 26-year-old to return to Victoria. Various combinations of Port Adelaide, Gold Coast, Sydney, Geelong and the Western Bulldogs were mooted, with the deal potentially unlocking the moves of Jack Steven, Zak Jones, Josh Bruce, Zac Smith and Alex Keath.
However, the reluctance of the Bulldogs to part with pick 13 saw that deal scuttled.
In any case, it does appear as if the Smith and Steven deals will need to get completed tomorrow before Hill can move. Multiple outlets are reporting the Suns will send pick 58 to Geelong to get Smith back to Queensland, with the Cats then sending pick 58 to the Saints for Jack Steven.
Picks 10, 58 and a 2020 first or second-rounder – potentially alongside Blake Acres – will then be enough to get the St Kilda their man.
The Ryder-Howard trade was just one of seven trades to go down on Tuesday, with the 2020 fourth-round pick Hawthorn received in the Sam Frost trade getting an almighty workout.
In the first trade of the day, the Hawks sent that pick to GWS in exchange for former no.1 draft pick Jonathon Patton – a huge backflip from the Giants who, previously, had claimed they wouldn’t give Patton away cheaply like they did Tom Scully last year.
The Giants then sent that pick to South Australia in exchange for Crows ruckman Sam Jacobs, before it got flicked over to Alberton for Billy Frampton.
Hugh Greenwood completed his requested move to the Gold Coast Suns later in the day, with the Crows receiving third and fourth-round picks in next year’s draft, before Sydney sent Darcy Cameron and pick 62 to Collingwood in exchange for pick 56.
The other trade of the day came earlier in the form of a risky pick swap between Melbourne and North Melbourne, with the Kangaroos parting with pick 8 in exchange for picks 26, 50 and a 2020 first-rounder.
While there was initial speculation the Demons would use picks 3 and 8 to launch a surprise raid on Hill, Brad Crouch or Isaac Smith, it appears now they’ll take both picks to the draft.
The other big development today came with Adelaide officially appointing Matthew Nicks as their next senior coach. Nicks immediately sat down with both Brad and Matt Crouch and reportedly reiterated his desire to keep them at the club next season.
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s deadline day, there’ll still be plenty for list managers to sort out.
The big moves both involve the Swans, who are still locked in negotiations with Carlton over Tom Papley and Essendon over Joe Daniher. No new details emerged as to either trade, with the likelihood of both trades going down to the wire increasing by the hour.
The Crows look to be a big player on the final day, with Josh Jenkins, Alex Keath and potentially Riley Knight still on the way out. Keath has requested a trade to the Bulldogs and Knight has been linked with Sydney, while Jenkins hasn’t attracted any public interest. That trade to the Bulldogs may hinge on how their negotiations go with St Kilda on securing Josh Bruce.
The Saints are still in the hunt for Richmond’s Dan Butler and Sydney’s Zak Jones.
Brisbane are closing in on Gold Coast’s Callum Ah Chee and will look to sort out moves for Tom Cutler (to Essendon) and Lewis Taylor (to Sydney), while also potentially moving Nick Robertson on. James Aish was spotted in Perth undergoing a medical with Fremantle, and could be on the outer at Collingwood in their quest to clear salary cap space.