The swap for Adam Saad turned out to be a fairly straightforward one, pretty much in line with the HPN valuation of the speedy halfback.
Saad is a 24 year old role-player for the Suns, a useful component off half-back. He was Gold Coast’s 9th most valuable player this season and projects to about 50 PAVs from here. That works out to roughly the average career value of of pick 24.
We floated Essendon’s then-pick 28 as likely and fair for Saad, and the swap that’s been done is essentially that; giving Gold Coast the Bombers’ future second round pick which should fall around pick 29.
For the Suns, the future pick presents as much more attractive given they have four 2nd-round selections this year. In addition to their pick 21 they have pick 24 from Fremantle, pick 26 from Hawthorn and the surprisingly devalued 37 from Richmond.
The Suns also likely have an eye on some potential Academy prospects next year with both Bailey Scott and Cairns’ Caleb Graham making the Allies under-18s side as underaged prospects this season.
For the Dons, the gamble is that being surrounded by better talent will help Saad unleash a bit of the potential that he has flashed at the Suns. However, it could just as easily go the other way, with Saad failing to find a spot in the surprisingly staunch Dons defence. The middle ground seems the most likely place for Saad – playing a role for the rising Dons but not a critical one.
Saad’s most similar projections have a large number of key position players; some of which panned out extraordinarily well, others who flamed out. Of these players, Jacob Surjan seems the most stylistically similar, providing explosive pace off half back after being overlooked in the National Draft. Surjan played a key role for Port for a period of time, even rising to vice captain, but was eventually delisted before reaching his full potential.
The Dons will be hoping the same doesn’t happen to Saad.
Verdict: Pretty fair
Note: This post is part of a series of posts using a valuation method called Player Approximate Value (PAV) to evaluate trades for fairness and balance. Elsewhere, you can read much more about the method and theory behind PAV and also about PAPLEY, the projection method used to derive expected future PAVs. This method expresses both picks and players in terms of expected future value allowing them to be compared on this common basis.