The Markov chain leads to the Suns

With Jarrod Harbrow nearing the end of his career and Pearce Hanley out of the picture, the Suns looked to need a similar type of rebounding defender. They’ve found one at the fringes of a stacked premiership team, in Richmond’s Oleg Markov.

While perhaps not as athletic as his World Champion father Dmitri, Oleg has an ability to create pace via foot – according to GPS data he is the fastest player in the league.

Markov was an emergency for the Grand Final, and looks to be stuck behind the roadblock at Richmond formed by players like Liam Baker and Jayden Short. Both Baker and Short are the same age or younger than Markov as well.

Both are shown by HPN’s PAPLEY projections to be likely continue to perform at a high level for years to come, while Bachar Houli also continues playing a little longer:

Markov has been traded for the Suns’ future third round pick, which projects on the 2020 ladder to about pick 41. That’s a reasonably valuable selection for a fringe player, and often produces useful players, but of course the pick hinges on where the rising Suns actually finish next year.

The trade values Markov’s a lot higher than his fairly lowly projection on exposed output so far, with the projected output of the pick nearly four times Markov’s lowly projection.

However, it must be noted opportunity has been the limiting factor for the 24 year old, which suggests some cause for optimism. The counterbalance is that he has only shown flashes at best at AFL level – albeit occasionally played out of his ideal position.

In many ways the trade is similar to Zac Langdon heading to West Coast. A 24 year old, picked up originally with a draft pick in the 50s, struggling for opportunity at a premiership contender, moving to a club with a specific role to fill, in exchange for a third round selection. In both cases, the bet is on the upside shown in limited gametime.

The HPN Salary Prediction Tool, a simple attempt to assign monetary value based on output and explained here, shows the upside prediction for Markov. Based on his per-game output, Markov in a full season could potentially perform around the level of Liam Baker:

Verdict: Unbalanced trade in Richmond’s favour, but Gold Coast’s optimism is reasonable.

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 PAVExpressing 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.

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