HPN will attack this AFL Trade Period in one post a day. Check back here as the day progresses to get our take on the day’s “action”.
It took a few hours, but the 2022 AFL Trade Period finally kicked off in earnest with two trades involving GWS dropping almost simultaneously.
Collingwood become the King of the Hill
After a year of waiting, Bobby Hill gets his wish and relocates to Melbourne, finding himself in black and white stripes as opposed to the red sash he requested a year go.
It’s safe to say the year hasn’t gone to plan for either Hill or the Giants. At the time of his trade request last year, GWS held onto Hill, partially in the hope he could contribute this year and might change his mind about where he wanted to play.
As a small forward in a struggling GWS he performed well enough for for the first half of the season as the Giants underperformed and eventually lost their coach. In May a testicular cancer diagnosis side-lined him for treatment, and the focus became more than just footy. He returned to VFL footy by the end of the season after treatment, and would be hoping that a fresh start settled into his preferred destination will see him move on to brighter things.
The picks exchanged are all of similar value, and the trade implicitly treats Hill as worth roughly one of the picks individually. That trade looks pretty fair on Hill’s current output, but there’s caveats in both directions.
On the upside for Hill and the Pies, he missed half the year with cancer and his future projection is impacted by that. A healthier Hill would play more footy. On the other hand, though, Hill faces sterner competition for a spot in the 22 at his new club, given Collingwood’s existing small forward options.
Verdict: Fair swap, but Collingwood has the upside here.
Finally time for Tim Taranto to become a Tiger
Three short years ago HPN rated Tim Taranto as about the most valuable player in the league. Since then little has gone right for GWS.
After their devastating Grand Final loss to Richmond the Giants struggled to adapt to a rapidly shifting game. They also faced a logjam of talented ballwinning midfielders, struggling to find the right balance for the players in the middle.
Stellar talents like Taranto were forced forward and to the outside at times, due to the sheer amount of talent the Giants boasted. As a result, Taranto’s value slipped a little. Taranto’s best was still stellar, and there were points where his footy was some of the most consistent for the Giants.
Taranto, at his best, blends inside and outside ability through the middle – the ability to win contested ball and transition it forward. He looks best when going at speed and in broken play. He’s also pinch hit up forward for the Giants, but it’s probably not his best role going forward.
Richmond are looking to rebuild on the fly after their 2020 flag, replacing their midfield midstream. Taranto presents as a ready made player to keep their premiership window open for another year or two if everything breaks right. His best is spectacular, and he should help the Tigers battle at the stoppages and their ball use around the ground.
The Tigers are giving up a lot for Taranto – betting that the new home will elevate his game to new levels. It’s a fair bet considering what he has been able to deliver in the past.
It’s also a huge upgrade for the side in the year to come, with Taranto set to provide an immediate impact that even two first round draftees just couldn’t do. The Tigers are mindful that they are poised to challenge for another flag, and need to commit fully to the cause.
Verdict: Giants get the better end of this one, but the Tigers are looking to the present.
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 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.