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Trade Wrap: October 12, 2017

Nick Bowen and Nathan Schmook - AFL.com.au  October 12, 2017 9:07 PM

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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs.

Giants snatch pick No.11 from Dogs' jaw

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). 

Bombers eliminate competition for Smith

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.

Is Lever deal leverage for repeat Gibbs bid?

On Thursday morning, a deal that threatened to become one of 2017's most drawn-out became the first trade finalised, with Adelaide agreeing to send Jake Lever to Melbourne.

In Lever, the Demons get a 21-year-old key defender who is an elite intercept mark and natural leader.

The Crows get the two first-round draft selections they were demanding – amid a now-customary whirl of later pick swaps – and now hold picks Nos.10 and 16 in this year's draft, along with two 2018 first-round picks (theirs and Melbourne's). 

How will the Crows deploy their new draft arsenal?

Adelaide's premiership window is wide open so the opportunity to convert its draft picks into a readymade player will appeal. And in Carlton's Bryce Gibbs there is an elite readymade player believed to remain open to a return to South Australia. 

As of Tuesday evening, Carlton had received no indication from Gibbs or his management that the midfielder wanted to revisit a move to Adelaide after last year's botched trade.

And the Blues remain adamant they expect Gibbs to fulfill the final two years of his contract, a position no doubt strengthened by their failure to land midfield targets Tom Rockliff and Devon Smith. 

The Crows have long been expected to make a second play for Gibbs. They now have a bevy of first-round picks to throw at Carlton, but less than a week to change the Blues' mind.

What you also need to know

  • Gold Coast still has an interest in Geelong forward Darcy Lang. Lang has toured North Melbourne's facilities and has also attracted interest from Carlton. The Suns are waiting on a decision from Geelong free agent Steven Motlop, who must make his call before Sunday's free agency deadline.
  • Fremantle and GWS are still negotiating over a fair trade for Giants half-back Nathan Wilson. The Giants knocked back the Dockers' initial offer of a future second-round pick.
     
  • Free agent Daniel Menzel is continuing his hunt for a longer-term deal, with a one-year offer from Geelong still on the table. His manager Adam Ramanauskas told RSN: "There's other clubs out there, it's just whether they pull the trigger".  

  • Out-of-contract Bulldogs forward Stewart Crameri believes he will have to wait until the end of the Trade Period to learn his fate. The imminent departure of Jake Stringer could work in Crameri's favour.

  • Hawthorn will focus on improving its draft position after trading in Jarman Impey on Thursday. The Hawks are set to enter the NAB AFL Draft at pick No.43 after trading its first pick (No.33) as part of the Impey deal. The trade involved a swap of picks, with the Hawks receiving pick No.67 this year but giving up pick No.61 and their future fourth-round selection.

  • Out-of-contract Giant Matthew Kennedy remains committed on moving to Carlton despite the slow progress in the clubs' talks. The Blues do not have a second-round pick this year to offer GWS and are reluctant at this stage to part with their 2018 second-round pick. The parties are confident, however, a deal will eventually get done.

  • Melbourne is looking for an early second-round pick for contracted forward Jack Watts, football manager Josh Mahoney says. Port Adelaide appears to lead Geelong in the race for Watts, but the 26-year-old is understood to be in no rush to nominate his preferred club.