Charlie Dixon – Gold Coast get away with one #afltrades

Richmond somehow come up as the biggest losers in a trade between Port Adelaide and Gold Coast.

Port Adelaide value in: 1715 points (Charlie Dixon – 1035 points, pick 49 – 680 points). Value out: 2120 points (pick 10 – 1230 points, 2016 pick ~28 – 890 points). Total = -405 points.

Gold Coast value in: 3865 points (pick 10 – 1230 points, pick 31 – 870 points, 2016 pick ~28 – 890 points, 2016 pick ~30 – 875 points). Value out: 2695 points (Charlie Dixon – 1035 points, pick 19 – 980 points, pick 49 – 680 points). Total = +1170 points.

Richmond value in: 980 points (pick 19). Value out: 1745 points (pick 31 – 870 points, 2016 pick ~30 – 875 points). Total = -765 points.

Verdict: fair trade to Port Adelaide, unfair elsewhere. Gold Coast get back 1.43 points per point relinquished, Richmond get back 0.56.

By digging in over Dixon and starting from a reportedly hugely unreasonable position, Gold Coast have managed to get over the odds for Charlie Dixon. We would have rated the simple swap of Dixon for pick 10 as fair but in Gold Coast’s favour, with the 25 year old Dixon averaging 14.3 games per year, having 10 Brownlow votes across the last 3 years, and projecting to play about 100 more his true value is around pick 16.

For Port Adelaide, this is the second year they’ve been baited into paying a high draft pick price for a ruck-forward, and have dealt themselves out of the first round of the draft for the second year in a row as well as given up second round picks in 2014, 2015 and 2016 (although they do retain pick 32 this year). Dixon at least shows potential to get well above that projection if he can play more games per year, play past 31, or start producing more elite output. We rate the trade fair for Port, it appears that the gamble is a risk but a reasonable one. Port Adelaide clearly rate the future development of players they already have at the club and aren’t in a mood to load up from the draft.

Yet the big loser here appears to be – somehow – Richmond. Richmond have traded effectively two picks (31 this year, 30 next year if they finish in the same place) for a single pick 12 places higher. This looks like madness, nearly a flat 1-for-2 swap. On our pick valuations, those picks are only about 12% worse than pick 19 because the yield of the second round of the draft is so flat from beginning to end. The AFL’s logarithmic pick points system is more generous as it devalues the late second round more sharply, but still sees this as a lopsided swap.

Richmond obviously have plans for the pick, reportedly offering it for Yarran, but if those plans don’t come to fruition they are going to look quite silly, and probably the first team to have conclusively stuffed up future pick trading. Early reports being that Carlton weren’t interested in pick 19 for Yarran – and though they may relent, they’re right that it’s modest unders for him (his true value is around pick 9). And even if the swap happens, if Carlton would prefer pick 19 alone to pick 30 and pick 31, that seems like a strange call on their part.

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