Why the AFL should have a mid-season trade period

As the mid-season draft looms – a time of year when talented VFL kids are hidden away in underground bunkers northeast of Warrandyte – discussion intensifies around the potential for a trade spell half season.

Professions. They are funny. And as an NBA fan, I can tell you now that the off-season movement through the draft, free agency, and the trade market can be more exciting than the game itself.

As things stand in the AFL, the Australian Football League Players’ Association would have a full-fledged crisis if Dustin Martin was told tonight he was on the 6am flight to join the Sydney Swans – in a trade deal with Sydney Stack – and they would see it Friday night for the Round 11 clash as opponents.

Lawyers. The atmosphere. Human rights. More atmosphere. Not Australian.

The human element of the trades is brutal, and that’s why the AFLPA will hold out as long as they can before handing over all player rights to the clubs. Contracts would have to be in line financially with the NBA for that to become a thing, and it will never happen.

In Australia, human rights, fairness and equality are important, and I don’t see Fairwork representing the kind of human sharing in the workplace that we’ve seen in the NBA over the years. But I will say this: club/franchise ownership over player contracts matters, and it works, especially when players want out. An open trading market is better than having a club the player has chosen to trade with. This is a non-leveraged zone. And in many cases, the future of the club hinges on the success of its treacherous star player.

In the NBA, players are considered actions. Sell ​​’em high, buy ’em low, know when to hold ’em. They are used by franchises for improvement. Either in the field as a winner, or as an asset that attracts more winners, or to fill a positional need that supports the win-now window, or to build a collection of future assets that sets up the tankorama-winner-later-plans.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have the smallest payroll in the league and use their available cap space to facilitate trades as a dumping ground for bad contracts. The tax to take the stink? First-round pick. They currently hold 19 first-round picks in the next seven drafts. It’s a good deal for their tankorama-win-maybe-never plans.

Maybe a nice strategy for North Melbourne?

Chosen 14and in the 2003 draft by the Seattle Supersonics, Luke Ridnour has already been traded four times in the same week! And unlike an AFL player, he had no say in where he went.

Orlando to Memphis. Memphis to Charlotte for Matt Barnes. Charlotte to OKC for Jeremy Lamb and a future second. Thunder in Toronto with cash for a $2.85 million trade exception.

Unlike the guy who started with a red paperclip, and in fourteen trades, ended up with a two-story house; the NBA evaporated Luke Ridnour the human into fake money to be used in another trade down the road and he was out of the league.

So, in the name of fun, good times, and roster management, let’s take a look at some NBA-inspired fake trades for the AFL.

The challenge with any fake AFL trades is that we don’t know the exact details of the contracts, so for fun, we’ve disabled the salary cap through the settings of a few trades.

Dusty chooses the Sydney lifestyle.

Sydney receives: Dustin Martin

Richmond receives: Dylan Stephens, Oliver Florent and Logan McDonald

With an aging roster, the Tigers are getting an injection of high-potential kids. Logan McDonald a future star and the replacement for Jack Riewoldt, Florent the replacement for Cotchin? Stephens a reclamation project and you could also make the case for a future premiere. Dusty proved he was that good.

Dustin Martin. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Richmond receives: Jacob Hopper, Leek Aleer, Bobby Hill

GWS offering a proven gun in Hopper, so no inclusion of a pick. If you are Richmond, what package do you take? The gun halfway and the lead herd, or the bull on a bullet and a few kids upside down?

North Melbourne moves Horne-Francis for established star and revived former business offering

North Melbourne receives: Jordan De Goey, Steele Sidebottom (leader) and a future first

Collingwood receives: Jason Horne-Francis

North Melbourne loooooooooove is dishing outrageous money on footballers who they claim will get them out of the hole immediately. De Goey is a gun, he’s capable of high-end footy, and let’s be dinkum, he’s only available because of the question marks surrounding his off-pitch demeanor. If it was a direct football decision, Collingwood would pay him the maximum bucks and keep him. Sidey falls off the slide and provides North with a Premier winning leader for mentoring/coaching purposes.

If Horne-Francis wanted to be the future of the Shinboners, he would have signed the extension. Turning down a guaranteed large sum is a brave move in professional sports and only suggests one thing: he’s out. The boy has the fully formed adult body of Mark Riccuito and he is 18 years old. The child is special. North Melbourne might be better off cashing in on it.

Plus, this trade is horrible. De Goey isn’t their guy, but it’s a Roos-type move.

Jordan DeGoey.

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

North Melbourne receive: Josh Rachele and 2 first-round picks from Adelaide

Adelaide receives: Jason Horne-Francis

He was proposed 12 months ago – would Adelaide accept him now?

Port Adelaide goes hunting ahead

Port Adelaide receives: Josh Kennedy

West Coast Reception: Future Third-Round Player


Port Adelaide receives: Tex Walker

Adelaide receives: Willem Drew

Port Adelaide is desperate for a key striker and you imagine Kennedy and Walker could be obtained on the cheap. Crosstown switch? Tex the hero of Port? Walk on the floor when Dixon comes back? Dangerous!


Aubépine receives: Karl Amon and Xavier Duursma

Port Adelaide receives: Jacob Koschitzke, Jack Gunston and a second round

Jacob Koschitzke is 21 and has shown a huge advantage in 26 games with 38 goals. Gunston is a proven performer, a star, and would provide an instant attack for a port team that is running out of forward options.

The Hawks get Amon, who was linked to them in free agency, and the exciting Xavier Duursma who is out of favor with Port coach Ken Hinkley, who is in winning mode now after a disastrous start to the season.

Three-way trade

North Melbourne hosts: Matt Crouch and Reilly O’Brien

Geelong hosts: Todd Goldstein and Jed Anderson

Adelaide receives: Jayden Stephenson, a third-rounder from the North, a first-rounder from Geelong and Quinton Narkle

It would be irresponsible of Geelong to give up a first. But they’re all on the flag and Goldy’s inclusion could tip them over. Anderson gives them an under-30 sub to replace Selwood, Bairstow and Couch when the time comes.

The Roos get the two best players in the trade while dipping into money owed Stephenson, who hasn’t lived up to the superstar billing hype. Adelaide gets a whiff of picks and a hard-to-find injection of foot speed from Stephenson who can play forward exclusively and doesn’t need to be Adelaide’s stud. Narkle a nice piece for the rebuilding Crows too.

Tackle Fuel, Underutilized Star, and O’Brien Upgrade

Essendon receives: Josh Dunkley

Western Bulldogs receive: Jack Lukosius, a second round from the Gold Coast and a second round from Essendon

Gold Coast receives: Andrew McGrath

Dunkley is the star here. GC and Bombers offer additional picks to fill the talent gap. The Bombers have their man. The tackle machine with the hard edge to support man everywhere Parish and Merrett’s moving and kicking elite. Finally, it is a midfield that complements each other. The next trade is to send Shiel to OKC.

The Dogs played Tim O’Brien as a defenseman, and that’s a problem. It’s usable, but it’s not locked down and far from an elite kick. Lukosius offers significant improvement in the back half and has also proven to have chops up front. McGrath looks lost in Essendon’s midfield with Merrett the kicker of choice and Parish picking up all the stray balls, just letting him run. He’s better than that, he’s a former No. 1 pick, and in the Gold Coast midfield he would be the polished decider and kicker Touk Miller was looking for.

The business of fantasy

St Kilda hosts: Jeremy McGovern, Andrew Gaff and Luke Shuey

West Coast hosts: Two first round players, Mitch Owens, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera and Ryan Byrnes

The Saints have had enough. It’s time to break the drought and this trade sends them into another talent stratosphere. The West Coast is cashing in on its vets for a perk package. Enough for the Saints to win a flag? Don’t forget we’ve disabled the salary cap… so let the Saints fans dream.

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