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The 2016 trade period revisited: How the Tigers went from duds to a dynasty

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28th April, 2020
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After one of the most confusing trade periods the previous season, 2016 was a fair bit easier to follow.

While we still had a whopping number done – 39 – there weren’t anywhere near as many complex three or four-way deals involving future picks and draft-point swapping.

So, with three full seasons of hindsight, I’ll do my best to name a winner in each deal.

If you’ve missed the other articles in this series, make sure to check the rest of them out.

Trade 1

Fremantle received: Cam McCarthy, picks 8, 38 and 72
GWS received: pick 3

As my good friend and former colleague (as well as trade aficionado) Josh Elliott pointed out on Twitter recently, this flies under the radar a bit.

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That’s more or less what Freo did here, sending the Hugh McCluggage pick Greater Western Sydney’s way to get McCarthy, pick 8 (Griffin Logue), pick 38 (traded several times before ending up with the Dockers and being used on Sean Darcy) and 72 (pass).

McCarthy hasn’t lived up to expectations at all, with Logue and Darcy still young and finding their feet at this level.

The Giants, on the other hand, swapped the McCluggage pick to draft Tim Taranto – who took out their best and fairest last season.

Like many of the deals from this point in time onward, it’s hard to call a decisive winner so soon, but GWS have the early lead.

Winner: GWS

Trade 2

Fremantle received: Brad Hill
Hawthorn received: pick 25

Hill did just about everything the Dockers expected of him during his three-year stint, but has since left for the Saints.

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The Hawks set themselves up for the future, swinging this pick into the capital they’d eventually use to prize Jaeger O’Meara from Gold Coast.

Winner: Hawthorn

Trade 3

GWS received: picks 2, 33, 50 and 54
Brisbane received: picks 3 and 17

Feels like we’re in the first quarter of an all-time classic here. Tim Taranto for Hugh McCluggage – this one will be debated for the next decade.

Both players took a big leap in 2019, but Taranto’s was arguably bigger. However, the Lions take the points for now thanks to the superb career (so far) of pick 17 Jarrod Berry, which trumps that of Harry Perryman (on whom picks 33 and 50 were used to block a rival bid) and pick 54 Lachlan Tiziani.

Winner: Brisbane

Trade 4

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St Kilda received: Jack Steele
GWS received: 2017 second-round pick

While he hasn’t quite been ‘the one that got away’ for the Giants – as some thought he’d end up being – Steele has provided the Saints midfield with invaluable grunt over the past three seasons. He’s finished top five in the AFL for tackles three straight years, including last year’s first-place finish, and will likely be a vital cog in any future success for St Kilda.

The Giants did pretty well with their future pick, selecting (very) small forward Brent Daniels, but the Saints have the edge here for now.

Winner: St Kilda

Trade 5

West Coast received: Sam Mitchell, picks 52 and 68
Hawthorn received: picks 52, 65 and 74

Mitchell’s victory lap with the Eagles was surprisingly productive, with the retrospective 2012 Brownlow winner averaging 27 disposals in 22 games before retiring. West Coast did well with the picks here too, selecting the provisionally ASADA-suspended Willie Rioli at 52 and using 68 to score Nathan Vardy from the Cats.

The Hawks used the first two picks here as party bags in other trades, while using 74 on Harry Morrison. A surprisingly inconsequential trade for one with such a big name involved.

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Winner: West Coast

Trade 6

Hawthorn received: Tom Mitchell
Sydney received: picks 16 and 52

The Swans set themselves up for the future well here, using the picks in another deal you’ll read about soon, but there was absolutely no way they were going to walk away from this as winners.

Tom Mitchell

Tom Mitchell has been excellent with Hawthorn. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Winner: Hawthorn

Trade 7

Hawthorn received: picks 10 and 63
St Kilda received: picks 25, 39 and a 2017 first-round pick

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Another deal with plenty of time left. The Hawks take the early honours here, with pick 10 being sent Gold Coast’s way to nab O’Meara, although the Saints netted themselves quality youngsters in Ben Long, Josh Battle and Hunter Clark with their picks – a trio who could become the nucleus of a strong defence.

Battle, in particular, looked impressive last season and could well turn the tide of this deal.

Winner: Hawthorn, for now.

Trade 8

North Melbourne received: Paul Ahern
GWS received: pick 64

Ahern never made his GWS debut after the club, just two years after selecting him with pick seven in the draft, shipped him to the Kangaroos for pick 64.

Knee injuries have cruelled his time at North so far, but he’s shown glimpses in his 19 games. It’s hard to go wrong with pick 64 anyway.

Winner: North Melbourne

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Trade 9

Gold Coast received: Pearce Hanley, pick 62
Brisbane received: pick 24 and a 2017 first-round pick (Port Adelaide)
Port Adelaide received: picks 21 and 32

It’s odd how the Suns acquired both Hanley and Jarryd Lyons in this period, but Lyons was the one who got delisted for not fitting their age profile.

The Irishman has been fine, but has he been picks 24 and 32 fine? No. Pick 62 being used to sweeten the Lyons trade saves some face, but this is another example of the Suns spending picks unwisely.

The Lions did well. Pick 24 Cedric Cox looks to be on the outer, but the 2017 first-rounder they got from Port was how they landed Charlie Cameron a year later.

The Power, on the other hand, used pick 21 (which was Brisbane’s priority pick) in an intriguing trade with the Swans, while four-gamer Joe Atley was pick 32.

Winner: Brisbane

Trade 10

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Melbourne received: Jordan Lewis, picks 57 and 63
Hawthorn received: picks 47 and 61

Lewis enjoyed a strong first two years with the Demons, but fell away significantly in the third. Still, he gets much less credit than Luke Hodge does for his cultural impact at Brisbane despite probably playing a similar role.

The two picks Melbourne got here were traded away inconsequentially, while Hawthorn packaged these two picks together to score a future pick from Carlton, which allowed them to acquire Jarman Impey the next season.

That’s smart trading from the Hawks. If the Dees hadn’t fallen off a cliff last season, this would go down as a win-win, but the rosier outlook for Hawthorn means they get the points.

Winner: Hawthorn

Trade 11

Fremantle received: Joel Hamling, picks 41 and 59
Western Bulldogs received: pick 38, 44 and 56

Fresh off a heroic 2016 grand final performance, Hamling jumped ship to the Dockers – where he’s played the best football of his career.

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His 2019, in particular, was excellent and sorely underrated.

Pick 41 Brennan Cox has also been a steal so far, although he did suffer with injuries and form last season after a breakout 2018, while pick 59 was turned into Shane Kersten via trade. Let’s forget that last bit.

Freo get the points, with the Dogs trading all of these picks again for modest upgrades in the draft order.

Winner: Fremantle

Trade 12

Melbourne received: Michael Hibberd, pick 59
Essendon received: pick 31 and 63

After a totally bonkers 2017, Hibberd has cooled slightly into ‘just’ a handy rebounding defender. In any case, he’s played above the price paid.

The Bombers have a chance to come out to ahead with Josh Begley (pick 31) and Dylan Clarke (pick 63), but neither pick is quite playing at the level yet to guarantee that outcome.

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Winner: Melbourne, for now.

Trade 13

Richmond received: Dion Prestia, pick 26
Gold Coast received: pick 7 and a 2017 second-round pick

Imagine travelling back in time and playing audio of the 2019 grand final to Gillon McLachlan.

“Another turnover by the Giants, Prestia picks it up and sends it long to Tom Lynch!”

Poor fella would’ve thought he was listening to a Giants-Suns decider.

Dion Prestia and Tom Lynch celebrate

Count the ex-Suns in this picture. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

But it wasn’t a Giants-Suns decider because the Suns continually shot themselves in the foot with horrid trades from 2011 until [error:undetermined] – and this was yet another.

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Prestia has gone from strength to strength at the Tigers, including a career-best year in 2019 where he averaged 27 disposals and five tackles. Richmond also landed another former Sun with pick 26, after sending it Geelong’s way for Josh Caddy. Another tick.

Gold Coast, on the other hand, selected Jack Scrimshaw with pick seven – who played four games with the club and is now a Hawk – while sending the 2017 second-rounder in the infamous pick-swap with West Coast where they gambled on the Eagles doing poorly the next season, only for them to win the premiership.

Incredible.

Winner: Richmond

Trade 14

Richmond received: Toby Nankervis
Sydney received: pick 45

Nankervis is one of the most unlikely two-time premiership players around, but his work around the ground as a ruckman can’t be understated.

The Tigers get the points here, with Sydney’s pick 45 Jack Maibaum yet to debut.

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Winner: Richmond

Trade 15

Gold Coast received: Jarrod Witts
Collingwood received: picks 44 and 57

A rare win for the Suns? I see it, but I can’t believe it!

For all the crap the Gold Coast cops, Witts is genuinely one of the best ruckmen in the game and deserves a hell of a lot more credit than he gets. If he actually had an AFL-level midfield around him he’d firmly be in the conversation for bronze behind Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn.

The Magpies used pick 44 to match a father-son bid on Callum Brown, while using pick 57 on another father-son player in Josh Daicos. Both players have enormous shoes to fill – and time to fill them – but the Suns have the edge for now.

Winner: Gold Coast

Trade 16

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Western Bulldogs received: picks 28 and 80
Gold Coast received: picks 38 and 44

Pick 28 Patrick Lipinski has had a bright start to his career, including a breakout 2019. Given the Suns traded both of these picks again, the Doggies get the points.

Winner: Western Bulldogs

Trade 17

North Melbourne received: Nathan Hrovat, a 2017 third-round pick and a 2017 fourth-round pick
Western Bulldogs received: 2017 third-round pick and a 2017 fourth-round pick

Hrovat enjoyed the best year of his career with the Kangaroos in 2017, before only managing 17 games over the next two. All of the other picks here were traded, bar North’s fourth-rounder (used on Kyron Hayden), so they take the marginal win.

Winner: North Melbourne

Trade 18

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Fremantle received: Shane Kersten
Geelong received: pick 59

Kersten’s time at the Dockers was a disaster, including an ugly fallout with coach Ross Lyon that saw his contract terminated midway through last season.

The Cats used pick 59 to seal a pretty sweet deal – the next one on this list.

Winner: Geelong

Trade 19

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Geelong received: Zach Tuohy and a 2017 second-round pick
Carlton received: Billie Smedts, pick 59 and a 2017 first-round pick

Clear win for the Cats. The Irishman had a career-best year in 2017 and has been in form close to it since, while Smedts was delisted after a single, nine-game season. Lachie Fogarty coming in with the 2017 second-rounder sweetens the deal too, compared to Carlton’s haul of Cameron Polson with pick 59 and ex-Giants via trade with the 2017 first-rounder.

Winner: Geelong

Trade 20

Richmond received: Josh Caddy, pick 53
Geelong received: picks 26 and 60

I’ll never quite understand why the Cats felt the need to move Josh Caddy on, but the Tigers sure aren’t asking any questions. The former Sun has been superb at his third club, including a career-best 46-goal haul in 2018. Richmond also did well with pick 53, selecting Jack Graham.

Geelong didn’t do horribly, selecting Brandan Parfitt and Quinton Narkle, but this one is clearly a Tiger win.

Winner: Richmond

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Trade 21

Sydney received: pick 33
GWS received: picks 39 and 52

Not a lot to write about here. Sydney traded pick 33 on again and the Giants used both picks to match a rival bid on Harry Perryman.

Winner: draw

Trade 22

Gold Coast received: Jarryd Lyons, pick 71
Adelaide received: picks 44 and 62

Future generations of scientists will never work out why the Suns moved Jarryd Lyons on after two competent seasons.

Still, that beats the 11 games pick 44 Myles Poholke has managed so far.

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Winner: Gold Coast

Trade 23

Melbourne received: Pat McKenna, picks 50 and 64
GWS received: picks 57 and 59

This trade really doesn’t warrant further discussion.

Winner: you, for being spared

Trade 24

West Coast received: Nathan Vardy
Geelong received: pick 68

Three seasons, 43 games and 17 goals? I’ll take that for pick 68 every time.

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Winner: West Coast

Trade 25

Western Bulldogs received: Travis Cloke
Collingwood received: pick 76

Collingwood passed on pick 76, so the Bulldogs claim the win by default.

Winner: Western Bulldogs

Trade 26

Essendon received: James Stewart
GWS received: pick 77

As above.

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Winner: Essendon

Trade 27

Geelong received: Aaron Black
North Melbourne received: pick 92

As above.

Winner: Geelong

Trade 28

Collingwood received: Will Hoskin-Elliott
GWS received: 2017 second-round pick

Hoskin-Elliott kicked 42 goals in his five seasons with the Giants. He kicked 42 goals in 2018.

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Winner: Collingwood

Will Hoskin-Elliott

Will Hoskin-Elliott’s 2018 was incredible. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

Trade 29

Brisbane received: Jack Frost, pick 76 and a 2017 third-round pick
Collingwood received: 2017 third-round pick and a 2017 fourth-round pick

A whole lot of nothing here. Frost and Collingwood’s 2017 third-rounder Nathan Murphy both have two games to their name, with pick 76 and the 2017 fourth-rounder both being passed on.

The 2017 third-rounder did help the Lions nab Luke Hodge the next season, so we’ll give them a tick for that.

Winner: Brisbane

Trade 30

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Collingwood received: Lynden Dunn, pick 50
Melbourne received: pick 46

Injuries have interrupted Dunn’s stint with the Magpies, but he’s done more than pick 46 Mitch Hannan so far.

Winner: Collingwood

Trade 31

North Melbourne received: Marley Williams
Collingwood received: pick 105

Pick 105? Give me a break.

Winner: North Melbourne

Trade 32

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St Kilda received: Koby Stevens, pick 56 and a 2017 fourth-round pick (North Melbourne’s from Hrovat trade)
Western Bulldogs received: pick 49 and a 2017 fifth-round pick

Koby Stevens, Ed Phillips, Lewis Young and Callum Porter starring in The Trade Nobody Cares About.

Winner: nobody

Trade 33

Carlton received: Caleb Marchbank, Jarrod Pickett and a 2017 second-round pick
GWS received: picks 45, 58 and a 2017 first-round pick (Geelong’s from Tuohy trade)

The Giants should have walked away winners here, with the 2017 first-rounder helping them nab Brett Deledio a few trades later – but injuries cruelled his stint at the club.

The other picks were used to match bids on Harry Perryman and Isaac Cumming, so it’ll be on Marchbank to get the Blues the points.

Winner: tied, for now. Blues favoured.

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Trade 34

Carlton received: Rhys Palmer
GWS received: pick 135

Pick 135? We’re moving on.

Winner: nobody

Trade 35

GWS received: Brett Deledio
Richmond received: 2017 first-round pick (Geelong’s from Tuohy trade) and a 2017 third-round pick

While Deledio’s move will ultimately go down as one of the sadder tragedies in AFL folklore, the Tigers sent both of these picks Brisbane’s way the next season in a pick swap that hasn’t done a lot yet.

Winner: GWS

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Brett Deledio GWS Giants AFL 2017

Brett Deledio joined the Giants to chase a premiership and ended up missing two flags with his old club. (Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Trade 36

Hawthorn received: Jaeger O’Meara
Gold Coast received: pick 11 and a 2017 second-round pick

The Suns used pick 11 to match a bid by the Swans on Queensland youngster Jack Bowes. He hasn’t set the world on fire yet, but the fact another club rated him highly means he’s one to watch.

Hard to see this trade ending up as anything other than a Hawks win, however.

Winner: Hawthorn

Trade 37

Sydney received: picks 11, 21 and 48
Port Adelaide received: picks 16, 18 and 33

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This trade could end up being incredibly juicy, with a lot of promising youngsters trading hands. The Swans landed Oliver Florent and Will Hayward with their first two picks, while the Power netted Todd Marshall and Sam Powell-Pepper.

It’s early days for everyone involved here. I’m giving the early edge to Sydney, even if Powell-Pepper has been the best of the quartet, but this could end up being anything.

Winner: Sydney, for now

Trade 38

Fremantle received: picks 38, 66 and a 2017 fourth-round pick
Gold Coast received: pick 73 and a 2017 second-round pick

For the second straight season, the Dockers started with pick 38, traded it and then received it back from the Suns. Weird.

What’s not weird is the Suns losing yet again, with Freo nabbing Sean Darcy at 38 and using the 2017 fourth-rounder as part of the package to score Nathan Wilson the next season.

Additionally, they were able to turn pick 66 into Luke Ryan, who’s been very impressive so far.

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Gold Coast’s future second-rounder would be used on Tim Kelly – but not before they traded it away, of course.

Winner: Fremantle

Trade 39

Carlton received: picks 47, 61 and 65
Hawthorn received: 2017 second-round pick (GWS’ from Marchbank-Pickett trade)

Not sure what the Blues were thinking here. Unless you have academy or father-son selections, quantity does not equal quality when it comes to draft picks – and this trade proves it.

Drafted trio Harrison Macreadie, Tom Williamson and Pat Kerr have combined for 30 games in three seasons so far, while the Hawks were able to use this pick to land Jarman Impey – who’s played 41 games in his two years there.

Winner: Hawthorn

We’re fast approaching the finish line of this series, with the 2017 retrospective coming in on Friday and the 2018 piece – the final one – landing on Monday. Thanks for sticking around so far and hopefully I’ll see you at the end!

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