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Live draft pick trading on AFL agenda

Peter Ryan (AFL Media)  June 16, 2017 3:13 PM

AFL 2016 Media - NAB AFL Draft

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: Tim English is seen during the 2016 NAB AFL Draft at the Hordern Pavilion on November 25, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)

A MAJOR innovation could soon be introduced to draft night, with momentum growing for draft picks to be traded at the 2018 National Draft.

AFL.com.au understands the AFL's player movement working group, made up of senior list managers, club and AFL officials, discussed the issue in detail at a meeting on Wednesday.

The AFL has resolved to examine the issue with the aim of introducing the idea in 2018 if it is viable.

The AFL will also consider the more radical prospect of players who are drafted being traded to another club on draft night.

This would mean clubs could target players in the draft pool and offer a package to the club that selects them to try to get them to their club.

For example, if Port Adelaide had wanted in 2016 a player selected in the first 15 selections such as Fremantle's Griffin Logue (pick No.8) or North Melbourne's Jy Simpkin (pick No.11), it may have been able to package up the picks it held, picks 16 and 18, to entice the club holding that player to trade him.

Some clubs have the view that the academy and father-son bidding system already sees clubs attempting to grab players that other clubs have committed to by making a bid, so the change would not be such a huge leap.

Live trading of draft picks would give clubs the chance to assess the value of their draft picks as the night unfolded and trade with other clubs to increase their likelihood of getting players they target.      

Making trades during the draft has been a central element to sport in America, with NFL and NBA clubs able to trade players as well as picks during their respective drafts.  

The group also heard feedback from Carlton list manager Stephen Silvagni, who travelled to America in April to examine how the process worked at the NFL Draft.

The AFL is also looking at making a change to free agency, with the issue discussed during collective bargaining negotiations.

The most likely change is that players who switch clubs as free agency will retain free agency status when they next come out of contract at their new club.