Swapmageddon – Four swaps involving eight clubs and zero players #AFLtrades

Picks fly every which way as clubs align their selections with their draft strategy. Gold Coast has a bet on a Fremantle slide.

Sydney value in: 1630 points (pick 36 – 820 points, pick 37 – 810 points)

West Coast value in: 940 points (pick 23)

Verdict: Theoretically unfair if West Coast intend to make three live picks. Sydney get back 1.73 points of draft pick value back, but 1.20 points of academy bid matching. This pick swap actually would have made the Jetta-Sinclair swap very fair at 2121 points vs 2166 points.

For West Coast, they are placing a significant premium on moving their first pick to 23 (they previously had 31). This suggests to us a strategy of meeting their minimum 3 selection obligation with 2 live picks and then a senior list upgrade for at least one of their four rookie players, because otherwise 31, 36 and 37 looks a better potential draft yield than 23, 31 and 62, even in a weaker draft year.

Carlton value in: 1870 points (pick 11 – 1170 points, 2016 pick ~47 – 700 points)

Bulldogs value in: 1930 points (pick 20 – 970 points, pick 21 – 960 points)

Verdict: fair, Carlton get back 0.97 points for each point surrendered.

As if to demonstrate our earlier argument that the swap of picks isn’t inherently a symptom of Academy bidding, here’s a trade of picks which is all about old fashioned draft positioning. Carlton are loading up hard on high picks in the 2015 draft, while the Bulldogs – quiet during this trade period – are content to slide down to get two picks at 20, 21. Along with 30 that’s now their first three picks. This is a fair swap focused on different drafting priorities.

Collingwood value in: 1670 points (pick 27 – 900 points, pick 66 – 430 points, pick 77 – 230 points, pick 84 – 110 points)

GWS value in: 1930 points (pick 34 – 840 points, pick 53 – 610 points, pick 63 – 480 points)

Verdict: fair trade. Collingwood get back 0.86 points for every point given up. GWS get back 1.13 points for each point traded in Academy bid matching terms.

This will help GWS land Hopper and Kennedy so they’ll be happy. For Collingwood, they improve their first pick from pick 34 to pick 27 while sacrificing pick 53 and 63 for 66 and 77 as a second and third pick. They are paying a small premium in later picks for that upgrade to 27 but exiting this draft almost completely was probably always the price for executing a beautifully balanced trade for Treloar, and one expects that they’ll look to fulfill minimum drafting obligations with at least one of their three rookies or by delisting and redrafting someone. The movement of 84 to Collingwood seems pretty meaningless but may serve some administrative purpose or seek to “even out” the trade in the eyes of AFL overseers.

The other consideration is that the difference between 53 and 66 probably isn’t huge. In a widely considered weak draft pool, few clubs will still be using live picks in that range so if the Pies have a speculative punt in mind they’ll probably still be able to get them.

Gold Coast value in: 1410 points (pick 56 – 570 points, 2016 pick ~34 – 840 points)

Fremantle value in: 1340 points (pick 35 – 830 points, pick 61 – 510 points)

Verdict: fair trade. Fremantle get back 0.95 points for every point traded (depending on their draft position in 2016).

Gold Coast have no academy kids worth high bids this year but are positioning themselves well for a stronger crop next year including potential first round pick Brad Scheer. With this move they take in 6, 16, 29 and 56 as their first draft picks this year and now have Melbourne’s first rounder and second rounders from Richmond, Port Adelaide and Fremantle in 2016. If the ladder in 2016 stays close to this year’s, that gives Gold Coast something like picks 3, ~6, 21, ~28, ~30 and ~34 in the 2016 draft.

The Suns will therefore be barracking hard against Melbourne, Richmond, Port Adelaide and Fremantle next season. We also note that the Suns waited until the last moment, after it was clear Fremantle would not get McCarthy, before taking their bet on Fremantle’s 2016 fortunes. Fremantle once again failing to secure a key forward presumably increases their chances of a slide down the ladder and a better pick for the suns next year.

For the Dockers, their trade period leaves them with 22, 35 and 61 this year, having earlier used pick 16 in the Bennell trade.

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