Taylor Duryea has played three complete years of senior football (in most weeks), and two of these netted him premiership medallions. He’s a handy footballer – not great, not terrible. He’s tabbed by PAPLEY as a general defender, with an emphasis on the general part.
But only in 2015 and (maybe, just) 2016 did he poke his head above the replacement level player mark that defines someone as actually best 22 on a list. He’s depth, through and through.
His projection provides an intriguing contrast with Scully – being clearly a best 22 prospect of the same age, Scully is the better player, but there’s more certainty around what Duryea will provide. The uncertain high risk better player and the low risk ordinary player actually pan out pretty similarly according to PAPLEY.
The story of this trade is the story of negotiations over free agency arrangements at the fringes of lists where keeping someone on a list and using a late draft pick look like pretty similar propositions.
Duryea was an unrestricted free agent this year, meaning the Bulldogs could have simply made him a free agency offer and signed him automatically. Many clubs would simply have done this, but the problem there would have been the impact on their round two compensation pick for Luke Dahlhaus (pick 27). Free agency compensation is a netted arrangement, so signing a player under free agency risks reducing the value of that pick. And Duryea, a depth player available nearly for free, is clearly not worth sacrificing pick 27 even slightly.
Duryea could also have moved as a delisted free agent if the Hawks had have been kind enough to delist him. But the Hawks have been cagey about their intentions for Duryea, because he may well be worth more than an empty list spot. If they put a contract offer in front of him, Duryea’s only option to move would have been to delist himself and enter the draft.
Thus, we get a trade swapping a fringe player who could in other circumstances could have moved for free. And it’s in exchange for… roughly what they’re probably worth in future expected value terms.
Verdict: Fair trade. Duryea carries little actual risk but it’s a genuine question whether his future output is actually worth more than taking the empty list spot to the draft.
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.