Bryce Gibbs is a very good footballer, perhaps even a great one, and the Crows think he is the missing piece on the march towards the 2018 flag.
Gibbs is 28 and has signed a 4 year deal, so we can assume he’s going to play for at least that long.
There are a lot of moving parts here, so let’s pull up the trade:
The pick swaps have dragged this trade just into the ranges of fairish value. Giving up two first rounders hurts when said without context, but in reality Adelaide are giving up one mid-first rounder and a very late first rounder. On the other side, Carlton’s 2018 second rounder might be a top 20 pick, and is predicted to be nearly as valuable as pick 16. The same applies to the Adelaide 2018 2nd rounder against the Carlton 2018 3rd rounder – Adelaide are good, Carlton are bad, so those picks will probably occur pretty close together.
This is before we factor in that the 2018 draft is meant to be stronger than the 2017 draft according to the observers who know these things.
The swaps reduce the trade to being roughly “Bryce Gibbs for pick 10” – a steep price for an ageing footballer, but less outrageous than “two first round picks”. Gibbs is at the peak of his powers, and brings something to the table that the Crows don’t have a lot of. PAPLEY suggests he has around three very good years of football left in him.
By age 28 PAPLEY is pretty good at working out the future path of a player. Gibbs is very unlikely to massively overachieve his prediction – however he might get an extra season or two out of his body. Likewise, it is unlikely that he will fall in a ditch and not produce anything for the Crows.
This is the Crows pushing all their chips into the middle; the last time they did so this dramatically was the Carey trade in 2002. However, this one seems significantly more balanced for the Crows, and with a bit of luck might work out in the long run.
Verdict: A fair trade but the long term upside is Carlton’s
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.