Not all of the motivation for moving players is transparent to fans and the media on the outside of the TPP bubble. Players are sometimes traded for slightly more or less than what their true value would be considered to be.
With the trade of Tom Phillips to Hawthorn, the motivations and mechanics of the trade seem far clearer than normal.
It turns out ditching Jaidyn Stephenson for below his fair value wasn’t enough to resolve Collingwood’s apparent salary cap situation.
Tom Phillips has, at times, looked like a very good to great outside midfielder. At just 24, he should keep continuing to be perfectly serviceable for a number of years yet.
At Hawthorn he should help cover for the likes of Isaac Smith, in providing some confident ball movement at a side sorely needing it.
For Collingwood, there’s no way to describe this trade other than a likely salary cap dump. Collingwood needed Phillips off their books.
Hawthorn have again swooped as they did in previous years with Tom Scully, Jono Patton and Jack Scrimshaw. Holding open cap space to absorb bad contracts seems to have become something of a specialty at the Hawks.
The trade is very uneven, because in reality, the third currency of the exchange equation, beyond picks and players, is cap space.
Verdict: Deeply unfair trade, a likely pure salary dump.
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. Readers can explore these values with tools such as 5-year player value projection charts and a Salary Prediction tool as well as the HPN Trade Calculator to evaluate potential trades.
Elsewhere, read much more about the method and theory behind PAV. Expressing the value of players and picks in terms of expected future PAV provides a common currency for comparing them in trades and other movements. Players are projected using PAPLEY, a method to derive expected future PAVs.