Trade wrap: How Dogs dropped the ball on pick 11
Nick Bowen and Nathan Schmook
October 12, 2017 6:35 PM
Greater Western Sydney beat the Western Bulldogs and Gold Coast in the race for Essendon’s No.11 pick when it sent Devon Smith, pick No.24 and its 2018 second-round pick to the Bombers for their coveted first-round pick and 2018 third-round pick.
It was a willing contest for pick No.11 and it’s understood the Bulldogs were in pole position until the 11th hour.
The Dogs appeared poised to secure the Dons’ first pick as part of a deal for contracted forward Jake Stringer that, in addition to some later selection swaps, involved the Bulldogs sending pick No.27 back to Essendon.
But sources close to the proposed deal say it fell apart when the Bulldogs prevaricated, allowing the Giants to pounce.
Can Dons still secure Stringer?
The Bulldogs have been steadfast throughout their negotiations with Essendon that pick No.11 had to be part of any Stringer trade.
However, earlier warnings they would hold Stringer to the final year of his contract, failing such a deal, seemed all bark and no bite.
It’s understood Essendon will not be offering its 2018 first-round pick to the Dogs.
Instead, it will try to satisfy them with two of the four second-round picks it holds over the next two years: Nos.24 and 29 this year, its 2018 second-round pick, GWS’s 2018 second-round pick (secured in the Smith deal)
After the Bulldogs deal fell apart, Essendon moved on to GWS quickly on Thursday morning to make sure it landed one of its three targets.
The Bombers needed to act given the competition for Smith, with St Kilda and Carlton both circling if the talks broke down.
It worked in the Giants’ favour, with the club thrilled to get back into the first round of the NAB AFL Draft.
The other target for which the Dons face genuine competition is Gold Coast half-back Adam Saad.
What are the Bombers offering for Saad?
Essendon’s offer to Gold Coast for Saad on Thursday was either its pick No.29 or its future second-round pick.
It is understood the deal is likely to get done for a future second-round pick, with the Suns well stocked in this year’ draft, holding picks No.20, No.23, No.25 and No.36 in the second round.
The Bombers hold two future second-round picks – their own and the Giants’, which was traded for Devon Smith – with the Suns to push for the Bombers’ as it would be expected to fall earlier.
Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro was emphatic Saad was worth a second-round pick, but the Suns have pushed for that to fall early in the 20s.
They remained hopeful they’d be able to deal with other clubs, including Carlton, if a fair trade couldn’t be struck with the Bombers, but a deal with Essendon looks likely.