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The Roar



The 2017 trade period revisited: The Suns needed a trade ban for their own good

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30th April, 2020
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We’ve only really had two full seasons to evaluate these trades. When you throw in the number of future picks involved too, it’s really only one.

But when has that ever stopped a football writer from jumping to a conclusion? It certainly won’t be stopping me.

To see the definitive verdicts on earlier trade periods, check out the full series here.

Trade 1

Melbourne received: Jake Lever, pick 37 and a 2018 third-round pick
Adelaide received: pick 10, a 2018 first-round pick and a 2018 fourth-round pick

Neither side would be too happy with how this has played out so far. Lever struggled badly to begin his stint with the Demons and was cut down by an ACL injury when he’d turned the corner and is only just coming out the other side. He’s still only 24, but the guy cost you two first-rounders.

Pick 37 Harrison Petty showed some signs last year, however.

The Crows, on the other hand, got a bit too clever here for mine. Pick 10 was sent Carlton’s way for Bryce Gibbs – that clearly hasn’t worked out – while the 2018 first-rounder was part of the infamous Liam Stocker live trade the following season.

Adelaide then traded that pick on again and ended up with Fisher McAsey, who made his debut in Round 1 of this season.


Time is more on Lever’s side than Gibbs’s, so the Demons take the points.

Winner: Melbourne

Trade 2

Essendon received: Devon Smith, pick 25 and a 2018 second-round pick
GWS received: pick 11 and a 2018 third-round pick

Big win for the Bombers. Injuries ruined Smith’s 2019, but his 2018 was career-best form and you’d bet on him replicating it once he gets back to full fitness. His best tackle numbers as a Giant were 98 in 2015 – he had 186(!) in 2018.


Not only that, but pick 25 was then used to acquire Jake Stringer from the Bulldogs, while the 2018 second-rounder saw them snatch Irving Mosquito right out of Hawthorn’s academy.

The Giants got just six games out of pick 11 Aiden Bonar before trading him last year, while the 2018 third-rounder was shipped to Freo alongside Rory Lobb.

Winner: Essendon

Trade 3

Hawthorn received: Jarman Impey, pick 67
Port Adelaide received: picks 35, 60 and a 2018 fourth-round pick

For someone who’d been drafted at pick 21 and played 75 games, this is a surprisingly cheap price to accept for Impey. The small utility has been worth more than every penny too, enjoying the best form of his career with the Hawks. Pick 67 Dylan Moore also played seven games last season, which is quite the bonus for such a low pick.

The Power traded pick 35 for a future selection, sent West Coast the fourth-rounder alongside Brendon Ah Chee and drafted Joel Garner at 60.

Winner: Hawthorn


Trade 4

Western Bulldogs received: Hayden Crozier and a 2018 fourth-round pick
Fremantle received: picks 42 and 75

Crozier’s been a pretty inexpensive pick-up for the Bulldogs, with his 38 games at roughly 17 disposals – mostly out of defence – a handy return for picks 42 and 75.

The Dockers did quite well here too, however, sending pick 42 Gold Coast’s way in one of the most laughably lopsided trades ever, while reacquiring the 2018 fourth-rounder and using it on promising small forward Lachie Schultz.

Winner: win-win

Trade 5

Essendon received: Adam Saad
Gold Coast received: 2018 second-round pick

Another clear exhibit in how the Suns and Giants have had such wildly different existences so far. GWS got pick 11 for a talented midfielder clearly on the fringe in Smith, whereas the Suns could only scrounge a future second-rounder for one of the competition’s supreme running defenders.


They dealt both players to the same club too, so you can’t use the Dodoro factor as an excuse. The fact this second-rounder was used in their infamous pick trade with West Coast just makes you shake your head even more.

Winner: Essendon

North Melbourne’s Jack Ziebell chases Essendon’s Adam Saad

Adam Saad (R) has been great for Essendon. (Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Trade 6

Port Adelaide received: Jack Watts
Melbourne received: pick 31

Why the Power felt the need to send a second-rounder Melbourne’s way for a maligned 27-year-old we’ll never know. Watts was decent in his first season but had 2019 wiped out by injury and looks a long shot to ever be part of Port’s best 22 again.

The Demons, on the other hand, are quite happy with the progress of pick 31 Bayley Fritsch so far and would need something disastrous to happen for them to not win this trade.

Winner: Melbourne


Trade 7

West Coast received: Brendon Ah Chee and a 2018 fourth-round pick (Hawthorn’s from Impey trade)
Port Adelaide received: 2018 third-round pick

Injuries have spoiled Ah Chee’s stint with the Eagles so far, while both picks involved in this trade weren’t noteworthy.

Winner: nobody

Trade 8

Melbourne received: Harley Balic
Fremantle received: pick 65

The rare double-doughnut! Balic retired midway through his first season with the Demons having not played a senior game, while pick 65 Tom North is yet to debut and was delisted (but redrafted as a rookie) last year.

Winner: nobody


Trade 9

Gold Coast received: Harrison Wigg, pick 55 and a 2018 fourth-round pick
Adelaide received: pick 40

The even rarer triple-doughnut! Wigg never debuted for the Crows or Suns before being delisted – although ankle and ACL injuries derailed his time at Gold Coast – while pick 55 Connor Nutting was also delisted without playing a game.

Pick 40 Andrew McPherson is still on Adelaide’s list but is yet to debut.

Gold Coast do end up taking the points here as they were able to swing the future fourth-rounder Port’s way for Aaron Young.

Winner: Gold Coast

Trade 10

Adelaide received: Bryce Gibbs, pick 77, a 2018 second-round pick and a 2018 third-round pick
Carlton received: picks 10, 16, 70 and a 2018 second-round pick


All of the future picks here got traded on in fairly uninteresting deals, so this really comes down to Gibbs versus pick 10 (Lochie O’Brien) and pick 16 (turned into Matthew Kennedy via trade).

For all the bad press surrounding Gibbs, his 2018 was one of the better seasons in his career, although the likelihood of him returning to that form at 31 years of age and coming off a pretty bad 2019 is admittedly low.

Given the Blues have already squeezed 35 games out of O’Brien – the same number Gibbs has played for the Crows – they have to be in the lead here, even if O’Brien has a ways to go in terms of development.

Kennedy is attempting to reinvent himself as a small forward and could also tip this trade further in Carlton’s favour.

Winner: Carlton

Trade 11

Gold Coast received: pick 52 and a 2018 first-round pick
West Coast received: picks 21, 26, 38 and a 2018 second-round pick

Here it is. The infamous pick swap.


In fairness to the Suns, West Coast’s 2017 was disappointing and few people saw them as a premiership threat for 2018 coming into the season. That said, the Eagles had still played finals for three straight seasons, so thinking their first-round pick would be so high it was worth four draft picks inside the top 40 was always ambitious at best.

Then, of course, the Eagles won the flag and this ended up being one of the worst deals ever.

The Eagles used picks 21 and 38 on solid second-tier players in Oscar Allen and Jack Petruccelle, with pick 26 Liam Ryan clearly the pick of the bunch. They didn’t do much with their subsequent trade of the 2018 second-rounder, but they could’ve drafted a fugitive and still come out ahead.

As for the Suns? They used pick 52 on Brayden Crossley, who’s currently serving a 12-month suspension for testing positive to cocaine before a NEAFL game, and traded the future first-rounder for another future first-rounder the next season.

When will this end?

Winner: West Coast

“Get ready everybody, they’re about to do something stupid.”

Trade 12


Gold Coast received: Aaron Young
Port Adelaide received: 2018 fourth-round pick (Adelaide’s from Wigg trade)

Well, at least the Suns came out ahead here. Young played only one good season with the club, but I’ll take a 20-goal season for a future fourth-round pick easily.

Winner: Gold Coast

Trade 13

St Kilda received: Logan Austin and a 2018 fourth-round pick (Adelaide’s from Wigg trade)
Port Adelaide received: 2018 third-round pick

Austin only managed seven games in 2018 before having 2019 wiped out by a shoulder injury. He’s out of contract this season and is up against it to keep his spot. The future fourth-rounder was shipped to Melbourne for Dean Kent, who’s been okay.

The pick the Power received here started a long chain of events that eventually helped them move up to pick 5 in the 2018 draft and select Connor Rozee, so they’ll take the points here.

Winner: Port Adelaide


Trade 14

Collingwood received: Sam Murray, pick 70 and a 2018 third-round pick
Sydney received: 2018 second-round pick

A future second-rounder for someone who hadn’t yet debuted? Come on.

To be fair, Murray looked promising in a 13-game cameo in 2018 but had his career derailed by an 18-month ASADA suspension and is currently plying his trade in the VFL.

In any case, the Swans would have really struggled to match Greater Western Sydney’s bid on Nick Blakey in the next draft without this pick, so they’d do this trade again ten times out of ten.

Winner: Sydney

Trade 15

Adelaide received: Sam Gibson
North Melbourne received: pick 77


Gibson managed only five games in his lone season with the Crows, although they paid pocket change for him and can’t be too upset.

North did a little bit better though, taking a punt on ex-Hawk Billy Hartung with that pick and getting 13 decent games out of him only to bizarrely delist him afterwards.

Winner: North Melbourne

Trade 16

Fremantle received: Nathan Wilson, pick 69
GWS received: pick 56 and a 2018 second-round pick

Wilson is one of the best rebounding defenders in the AFL and if the Giants could have any currently active ex-player back, I honestly believe he’d be near the top of the list.

GWS would be reasonably happy with their draft haul of Zac Langdon (pick 56) and Ian ‘Bobby’ Hill (secured via a live pick trade), but that doesn’t quite close the gap.

Winner: Fremantle


Trade 17

Essendon received: Jake Stringer
Western Bulldogs received: picks 25 and 30

This one’s become quite interesting in the years since.

Stringer has gone about his business at the Bombers, proving reliable and dangerous without hitting the heights of his stellar 2015 campaign. He’s only 26 and could be coming into his prime now.

The Dogs, however, deserve credit for getting decent compensation for a player they needed to move on and they did well with that compo too, sending pick 25 Brisbane’s way for Josh Schache and flipping pick 30 to the Blues for a move down the order that netted them Ed Richards.

Schache looks poised to break out in the very near future, while Richards has quietly racked up 41 games before his 21st birthday.

It’s probably a dead heat for now, but I’d be stunned if the Bulldogs don’t end up winning this eventually.

Winner: Tied, for now. Bulldogs favoured.

Jake Stringer

Bombers fans can’t complain about Stringer’s impact. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

Trade 18

Carlton received: Matthew Lobbe
Port Adelaide received: pick 95

Another donation trade, with Lobbe playing just eight games over two seasons and the Power passing on pick 95.

The real tragedy is the fall of ‘Interesting Matthew Lobbe’, one of the most underrated AFL Facebook pages of the previous decade.

Winner: Carlton, I guess.

Trade 19

Western Bulldogs received: picks 16 and 41
Carlton received: picks 28, 30 and a 2018 second-round pick


This is another trade that could make for great reading a few years down the track.

As mentioned before, Richards has put together a decent start to his career from pick 16, while pick 41 was the other pick used to pay for Schache.

The Blues got themselves Kennedy from the Giants with pick 28, drafted Tom de Koning with pick 30 and used the future second-rounder as the biggest chip in their acquisition of Mitch McGovern the following season.

Very early days in a lot of these careers, but the Doggies have easily had the better return on investment so far.

Winner: Western Bulldogs, for now.

Trade 20

Richmond received: pick 53
Geelong received: 2018 third-round pick

The Tigers used this pick to match a bid on father-son bid Patrick Naish, while the Cats sent this pick to Brisbane alongside Lincoln McCarthy the following season.


Geelong haven’t netted anything from that trade so far, making Richmond favourites to end up winning this.

Winner: Richmond

Trade 21

Carlton received: Matthew Kennedy
GWS received: pick 28

Another deal with lots of time to go. The Giants scored key defender Sam Taylor with pick 28, who looks odds-on to be Phil Davis’s eventual replacement.

I like his prospects a bit more than Kennedy’s at this stage.

Winner: GWS, for now.

Trade 22


Brisbane received: Luke Hodge, pick 44
Hawthorn received: picks 45 and 71

Hodge did everything the Lions asked of him and more in his two seasons, with his imparted wisdom and cultural impact likely to last far longer than the 41 games he gave them. Pick 44 was used to match a bid on academy player Connor Ballenden. He’s yet to debut, but the scouting reports on him are reasonably good.

The Hawks unearthed a gem with pick 45 James Worpel, however, so it’s likely both sides will look back on this deal fondly.

Winner: win-win

Luke Hodge

Luke Hodge helped the Lions immeasurably. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Trade 23

Carlton received: Darcy Lang and a 2018 fourth-round pick
Geelong received: pick 57 and a 2018 fourth-round pick

Everyone gave Stephen Silvagni flak for his supposedly bad trades with the Giants, but maybe it’s the Cats he should’ve been avoiding the whole time.


A year after being fleeced in the Billie Smedts-Zach Tuohy trade, he brought Darcy Lang over, who’s played just 19 games in two seasons, in exchange for the draft pick Geelong used on Gryan Miers.

Winner: Geelong

Trade 24

Geelong received: Gary Ablett, pick 24 and a 2018 fourth-round pick
Gold Coast received: pick 19 and a 2018 second-round pick

Is it possible the West Coast pick swap isn’t the worst trade the Suns made this season? It might just be.

Losing Gary Ablett was a huge gut-punch to the club both on and off the field, but surely the draft haul they got in return would be enough to set them up for the future, right?

No, not at all.

Pick 19 was used on Wil Powell who, in fairness, hasn’t had a chance to really strut his stuff thanks to knee injuries. Who did the Cats nab with 24? Tim Kelly. Oh boy.


More head-scratching, however, is the future second-rounder. Gold Coast sent that Brisbane’s way to acquire pick 28 in the 2018 draft only to ship that and pick 35 to the Eagles for pick 23 and a fifth-rounder!

I give up!

Winner: Geelong

Trade 25

Brisbane received: Charlie Cameron
Adelaide received: pick 12

The Crows have themselves an exciting prospect in the form of Darcy Fogarty, but Cameron’s 57 goals in 2019 will make it hard for the Lions to lose.

Winner: Brisbane

Trade 26


St Kilda received: pick 34 and a 2018 fourth-round pick
Port Adelaide received: picks 58, 61 and a 2018 second-round pick

Maybe one of the drafted trio in Oscar Clavarino, Jake Patmore or Dom Barry will do something to excite us someday. For now, the future second-rounder Port got – which helped them acquire Rozee – is enough for the win.

Winner: Port Adelaide

Trade 27

Fremantle received: Brandon Matera, pick 2
Gold Coast received: Lachie Weller, pick 42 and a 2018 third-round pick

The Suns haven’t finished yet. Pick 2 for Lachie Weller. Pick 2 for Lachie Weller.

It made no sense at the time and still makes no sense now. This is not a knock on Weller – he’s played his role and he certainly didn’t set his trade price – but holy smokes. Pick 2!

Freo were more than happy to acquire Andrew Brayshaw with that pick. He’ll be an absolute gun.


Not to mention Gold Coast just casually throwing in Brandon Matera – who has 43 goals in his two seasons with the Dockers – and accepting measly pick 42 in return. That pick (Charlie Ballard) looks like it’s working out for them, but they have a mountain to climb to break even here.

I’m actually a bit angry.

Winner: Fremantle

Andrew Brayshaw Adam Cerra

Andrew Brayshaw (L) could be one of the steals of the decade. (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito)

Trade 28

Western Bulldogs received: Josh Schache
Brisbane received: picks 25 and 41

The Lions used pick 25 to move up the order and select Zac Bailey, who’s looked pretty good, but losing a former No. 2 draft pick for picks 25 and 41 after just two seasons is a huge blow, especially when they flick a switch at their new club.

Winner: Western Bulldogs


Trade 29

Brisbane received: picks 15 and 54
Richmond received: picks 20 and 25

Bailey has the Lions in the lead here, although pick 25 Noah Balta has the Tigers not far behind. If they can get pick 20 Callum Coleman-Jones to turn it on, they’ll come out ahead, but we haven’t seen that yet.

Winner: Brisbane, for now.

Trade 30

Port Adelaide received: pick 47 and a 2018 third-round pick
North Melbourne received: two 2018 third-round picks (St Kilda’s from Austin trade and West Coast’s from Ah Chee trade)

This trade will essentially become Connor Rozee versus Tarryn Thomas. Sign me up.

The Kangaroos used both picks here to match a bid on their next-gen academy player, while Port used the future third-rounder in the Rozee pick trade chain.


Rozee has the Power narrowly in front now, but don’t sleep on pick 47 Sam Hayes chipping in soon too – he was a surprise slider on draft night and could well turn out to be a steal.

Winner: Port Adelaide

Thanks for sticking around as long as you have with this series. We’ll be switching the formula up in a big way on Monday, so check back on The Roar then!