Pies and Saints see sense on Freeman’s value #afltrades

The trade of Freeman, an untried but highly rated recent draftee, looks like very fair value for both sides.

St Kilda value in: 1511 points (Freeman: 1111 points, pick 68: 400 points)

Collingwood value in: 1440 points (2016 pick ~23: 940 points, pick 62: 500 points)

Verdict: Fair trade. St Kilda get back 1.05 points for each point given up

Nathan Freeman has yet to play a game and has disappointed Collingwood by taking a presumably larger monetary offer to play for St Kilda.

Many Collingwood fans have felt a little slighted by this move, arguing that the club supported Freeman during his injury issues and he’s abandoning them. This is unfair – Freeman was drafted in 2013 and has just reached the end of his standard rookie contract. Collingwood did what was contractually required – kept him on the list, provided medical care – but nothing more than their basic obligations as a party to Freeman’s employment. Now, at the first point where Collingwood can renew their support for him (or not) by offering a new contract, St Kilda have shown a greater faith by offering him the more tempting contract. This is all as it should be for a young kid who has every right to take the larger pay packet while it’s on offer.

Regardless of the ill feeling, Collingwood and St Kilda have dealt with each other calmly and fairly, and come away with a balanced deal. Freeman, a former pick 10, is nominally worth that pick discounted for two lost years – we put him at 1111 points or about pick 13. Assuming the Saints are confident that Freeman’s medical issues are behind him, he retains the promise he showed to be drafted at 10.

Collingwood and St Kilda have reached about as close to value as they probably could in a simple two-way trade. The difference is a handful of projected games. The Pies have upgraded their late pick by a few positions, with pick 62 suggesting 50 games of average value while 68 suggests 40. St Kilda have given up a second round pick from 2016.

On St Kilda’s current ladder position their second round pick next year is pick 23, but could be anything from 19 (Collingwood will hope St Kilda slide down the ladder) to upwards of 30 if St Kilda bolt to the top 6. However, within its realistic movement range there’s not to much value to be lost. We’ve spoken before about how second round pick order doesn’t seem to matter too much and pick 23 is very close to say pick 20 or pick 29 in expected value.

This is a really pleasing and sensible looking trade and both parties should be happy.


  1. Any thoughts on Carlton and Adelaide’s proposed Menzel trade? I’ve heard two potential versions:

    a) the trade arrangement most media outlets seem to be reporting, with Troy Menzel being traded to Adelaide in exchange for pick 28 and Sam Kerridge.

    b) the other potential trade arrangement that has been floating around (the one which, as a Carlton supporter, I feel much better about), with Carlton sending Menzel and pick 20 to Adelaide, with Adelaide giving Carlton picks 13 and 28, as well as Sam Kerridge.

    How would you value those two potential scenarios?

    1. We haven’t looked in detail, but we get the value of Menzel around 530 points more than the value of Kerridge (that’s 2 and a half seasons of games), based essentially on Menzel’s greater number of games so far, and being a year younger. I understand subjectively people think Menzel is probably the better player too, but that’s not a factor for us trying to quantify future value unless they’re fairly demonstrably elite.

      That gap puts scenario a) only just within the bounds of a 30% threshold for fairness in Carlton’s favour (this is because pick 28 is worth a lot more than the gap between Kerridge and Menzel on pure expected games quantity), and scenario b) actually being fairer, only about 20% in Carlton’s favour.

      This probably seems a bit off because people rate Menzel more highly, but there it is in quantity terms.

      Looking at the available pick material, replace pick 28 in scenario B with something like Adelaide’s future third rounder (in the mid to high 40s) and it gets closer to even on our system, with Carlton getting about 10% more back than they let go.

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