Darcy Cameron, drafted in 2016, has sat deep enough in Sydney’s ruck pecking order that they used both the preseason signing period and midseason draft to acquire alternative ruck options from South Adelaide, in Hayden McLean and Michael Knoll respectively. Poorly timed injuries prevented him from senior gametime this year, but the writing is on the wall, so he’s now gone to Collingwood where he may find an easier time slotting into at least a backup role.
Note: This article is part of a series 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. You can also read about PAPLEY, the projection method used to derive expected future PAVs, which has been revised for 2019.
Cameron will obviously not replace Grundy, but he did kick over 40 goals in the WAFL before being drafted meaning there may be some prospect of him being structurally useful in a Collingwood forwardline that’s often bereft of real talls.
It is worth noting that Cameron, according to PAPLEY, has as little value as possible. This means he will almost certainly perform better than his projection.
The loss to Sydney is from their perspective minimal given the presence of Sinclair, Naismith, Knoll and McLean in the ruck division, plus developing tall forward options like McCartin and Blakey who would be at least Cameron’s equal. He’s also a national draft pick who been in the system long enough that he was probably being paid more than a rookie salary. That makes him costlier than Sydney’s two recent acquisitions, so shedding any excess salary cap expenditure may also have factored into Sydney’s trade position.
The trade is a very modest pick upgrade, and given Cameron’s dim projections and lack of prospects at Sydney, it’s still around the mark.
Verdict: Fair, minimally valuable trade.