All AFL players, especially those picked up at the pointy end of the draft, burn to play at the top level. It’s easier for most to find a solid footing in bottom teams than to break into a perennial finalist.
GWS drafted Jye Caldwell at pick 11 in 2018 – with his first year being a year where GWS made the Grand Final.
Caldwell is a midfielder who struggled to get game time at the Giants behind their various stars. He was given some opportunities around the ground, but he really shines in the middle and following the play.
Caldwell still would have had a new contract offer in front of him, though, and been part of their longer term planning. As such, he is a player they were keen to get some value for.
A slider at pick 11 thanks to a draft year wrecked by injury, he was profiled at the time as a balanced inside or outside midfielder with maybe a question mark over his kicking. The Saints considered him at pick 4 that year.
With that pedigree, and a couple of years in the system, he should immediately help pad out a solid but hardly stacked Essendon midfield rotation. He probably suits the semi-rebuild that lies ahead of Essendon, representing a “short cut” over a raw draftee.
The trade is reasonably balanced for a young player who has shown only glimpses in limited opportunities, but who was highly rated. He has certainly not become damaged goods since being drafted.
GWS do not get a full refund of their pick 11, but the value returning is rating him at about pick 26.
Verdict: Fair trade
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.