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AFL.com.au's trade whispers

staff writers  September 18, 2013 7:00 AM

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Lance Franklin is the biggest name on table as off-season looms

AFL.com.au reporters take a look at the possible ins and outs at all 18 clubs during the coming Gillette AFL Trade Period.

ADELAIDE
Speculation is mounting that Carlton's Eddie Betts will find his way to West Lakes, with it rumoured the free agent has bought a house near Adelaide's Henley Beach. Indeed, Crows coach Brenton Sanderson said Betts would immediately improve his side, saying the club would be in touch with the small forward's management. Adelaide has also expressed its interest in Brisbane Lions midfielder Jared Polec. The 20-year-old South Australian has told the Lions he wants to return home and with good friend and former Woodville/West Torrens teammate Brodie Smith already at the Crows, Polec would fit in nicely. But given they're banned from the first two rounds of the NAB AFL Draft, the Crows might have to look at giving up a David Mackay or Bernie Vince as well as a draft pick to secure him. Sanderson has declared his need for another key forward and with Shaun McKernan keen to return home to Victoria, it's an area the side would also need to trade into given its lack of drafting options. Free agents Scott Thompson and Jason Porplyzia are yet to be re-signed, but both are expected to be offered new contracts. - Harry Thring

BRISBANE LIONS
The Lions are set to be one of the biggest movers during the off-season as they struggle to maintain some quality young players and also search to fill holes in their list. Jared Polec (Adelaide and Port Adelaide) and Patrick Karnezis (Collingwood) already have interest from rival clubs since expressing their desire to leave. Sam Docherty and Billy Longer have also expressed an interest in pursuing other options, but like unsigned teammate Elliot Yeo, have left the door open to stay in Brisbane. If the Lions are to lose two or more of their youngsters, it gives them some ammunition at the trade table, as all are top-30 picks from the past three NAB AFL Drafts. The Lions say they will drive a hard bargain to trade any of them. Like the past two to three years, they desperately want a key position player to stand alongside – or take over from – Jonathan Brown, who is still undecided on his future. Richmond's Luke McGuane and Swan Jesse White have been pursued before and will be again. Tigers midfielder Dustin Martin has also been linked to the Lions, but they'd want to be careful after the Brendan Fevola trade in 2009 went spectacularly wrong and set them back a couple of years. - Michael Whiting

CARLTON
The Blues desperately need more running power in the midfield to provide some respite for skipper Marc Murphy and veteran Chris Judd. They also need a key forward to add more bite to an attack that was largely unsettled this season with chief Jarrad Waite regularly sidelined and swingman Lachie Henderson often required in defence, as coach Mick Malthouse shuffled fringe forwards Levi Casboult, Sam Rowe and Shaun Hampson trying to find the right combination. In an ideal world, the midfield issue would be solved by landing Collingwood's restricted free agent Dale Thomas – a strong possibility given his close relationship with 2010 premiership mentor Malthouse – and out-of-contract Richmond star Dustin Martin. Securing a key forward appears more difficult, as the options include wrenching Jack Watts out of a Paul Roos-inspired Melbourne or trading away established talent to get Greater Western Sydney's No.1 pick to snare forward prodigy Tom Boyd. Either way, it seems both would take time to make the impact the Blues desire. Malthouse has labelled Matthew Kreuzer and Bryce Gibbs "untouchable", but the inconsistent Chris Yarran and ruckman Shaun Hampson are likely to be offered as bait. The Blues' potency in attack could also take a hit if restricted free agent Eddie Betts accepts a more lucrative offer from a rival club. - Ben Collins


Dale Thomas may make the move across enemy lines to Carlton. Picture: AFL Media

COLLINGWOOD
Nathan Buckley has put all at Collingwood on notice, revealing his intent for change with his post-game press conference after the Magpies were bundled out of the finals by Port Adelaide. Out-of-contract midfielder Dale Thomas has been heavily linked with Carlton and is already over the line, depending on the people you ask. Buckley has flagged the need for cultural change and some have suggested Heath Shaw may be moved on. However, the rebounding defender still has two years to run on his contract and the Magpies haven't made any clear statement on his future at the club. Richmond's Dustin Martin would add significant zip to the Pies' midfield, but may not fit in with Buckley's culture improvement plans. The Magpies may look for an experienced ruckman, to complement Ben Hudson and emerging big men Brodie Grundy and Jarrod Witts. While a lead-up forward – such as Brisbane Lions youngster Patrick Karnezis – would also fit the bill. Marty Clarke, despite having a year left to run on his contract, may also be well advised to seek opportunities elsewhere after limited senior opportunities this season. The Magpies may find themselves in the Taylor Adams sweepstakes, while Richmond free agent Matt White should be on their radar. – Ben Guthrie

ESSENDON
Essendon appears likely to focus more on re-signing its out-of-contract players before trying to lure others in. With Tom Bellchambers re-signing on Tuesday the priority is Stewart Crameri, who is weighing up a "monster" offer from the Western Bulldogs. Stripped of their first two picks at this year's NAB AFL Draft, the Bombers' ability to get trades done will be difficult, but it should make a play for Giants on-baller Taylor Adams. Leroy Jetta could be on the way out after a disappointing season, but he is under contract. Scott Gumbleton is also likely to look for a new home. The Bombers need another midfielder and might also look to a mature aged ruckman after the retirement of David Hille. Nick Dal Santo could be out of the Saints if the deal works for the club, and he would add another layer of class to the Bombers' midfield. At the right price, he could be a good addition. - Callum Twomey




The Dons are in a battle to retain Stewart Crameri, with the Dogs believed to be keen. Picture: AFL Media

FREMANTLE
The Dockers have more immediate priorities than the trade period. But it is fairly obvious where the deficiency lies on their list - key forwards to replace Matthew Pavlich. They have re-signed young key position players Matt Taberner and Tanner Smith with a long-term view but the Dockers made no secret of their interest in Travis Cloke last season, and this year the names that have been whispered are Essendon's Scott Gumbleton, North Melbourne's Aaron Black and Sydney Swan Jesse White. Gumbleton and Black are West Australians originally from Peel Thunder, which is Fremantle's WAFL aligned club. White is still playing a part in the Swans campaign while still trying to work out where he fits. Freo would have to trade well to secure any of that trio as it won't have high picks to work with. Some of the talented depth midfielders could be interested in moving for opportunity have not got a great deal of experience. - Alex Malcolm

GEELONG
The Cats were a major player in last year's trade and free agency period, securing Josh Caddy from Gold Coast, Jared Rivers from Melbourne and Hamish McIntosh from North Melbourne. It seems unlikely that the club will be as active this time around. When it comes to retirements, it is expected veterans Joel Corey, Paul Chapman and Josh Hunt will hang up their boots or be moved on. The trio has been in good form in the finals, but Geelong simply has too many talented young players queuing up to get a game and Chris Scott does not want to see their development stagnate. There are no other obvious candidates to come off the list at the end of the season. The Cats have all of their key players under contract, with Mathew Stokes and Steven Motlop among those to have committed to the club in recent times. One of the most intriguing things to watch down at Geelong will be what it does with its rookies. Ruckman Mark Blicavs has certainly done enough to be permanently promoted to the senior list, while George Burbury and Jackson Sheringham are strong chances to be promoted as well. - Adam McNicol


Veteran trio Joel Corey, Paul Chapman and Josh Hunt may all be moved on. Picture: AFL Media

GOLD COAST
Unlike the past couple of years when the Suns have been active in building their list, don't expect much from them this year. Gold Coast has been intent on putting some experienced bodies around its emerging young stars the past three years, but is now content. Coach Guy McKenna has indicated he'd like one more experienced, rebounding half-back, but don't expect them to push too hard. The Suns have already delisted five players, and with last week's retirement of Jared Brennan, no longer have to cut or trade players to get to their required list size of 40. However, they currently have three high draft picks (early first round, activated first round compensation, and early second round), so are still in the market should that right defender bob up. - Michael Whiting

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
If one club is set to dominate the upcoming trading period, it is surely Greater Western Sydney. The competition's newest franchise has pressing needs everywhere on its list and has repeatedly stated its intentions to add some experience. Lance Franklin, of course, has been the name linked all season and some believe he is firming as a likely Giant. His combination of size, skills, experience and charisma would instantly improve the club's fortunes, on and off the field. Dustin Martin's situation at Richmond, where he appears to have reached a stalemate over a new deal, has vaulted him into the GWS frame too. Those additions alone would transform the Giants, but a ruckman and a key defender are needed just as badly. Sam Fisher and Shane Mumford have been linked. Chad Cornes and Dean Brogan have retired, while Bret Thornton and Setanta O'hAilpin are among some early delistings as the club clears the decks. Taylor Adams appears set on a move back to Victoria, while Jonathon Patton falls into the rumour category. There have been whispers he could be moved on at a club that could have fellow key forwards Franklin, Jeremy Cameron and Tom Boyd on its pay roll. The Giants would need to get exceptional value, however, if they were to ship the No.1 pick to another club.  - James Dampney




Could power forward Jonathon Patton be squeezed out of the Giants? Picture: AFL Media

HAWTHORN
The Hawks' trade/free agent activity may be dictated by Lance Franklin's decision on whether to stay or go. If, as is being widely speculated, the four-time All Australian decides to accept a lucrative offer from Greater Western Sydney, Hawthorn will have $1 million in salary cap space with which to target potential recruits. Several players have already been linked to the Hawks, including out-of-contract ruckmen Shane Mumford and Billy Longer, who has told the Brisbane Lions he wants to be traded back to Victoria. Young Giants midfielder Taylor Adams is also out of contract and would seem a perfect fit at Waverley, as the club prepares for the retirements of Sam Mitchell, Brad Sewell, Luke Hodge and Shaun Burgoyne over the coming years. If Franklin leaves, the Hawks might also be in a position to tempt Dustin Martin or Dale Thomas. Both would fit beautifully into Alastair Clarkson's line-up as bursting, goalkicking midfielders, although Thomas appears destined for Carlton in the event he leaves Collingwood. Martin's off-field issues may be a red flag, but then again, the Hawks might be one club who would back their culture and strong group of leaders to assist him. - Mark Macgugan

MELBOURNE
Melbourne is in the market for midfielders, joining several clubs in the race for Greater Western Sydney's Taylor Adams. It has also inquired about Dustin Martin, but taking the disillusioned Tiger would seem to be a huge risk. Daniel Cross remains in talks to take a possible on and off-field role with the Demons and Darren Jolly's name has been linked with the club. Aaron Davey is the only significant retirement from 2013 but it has a good crop of youngsters coming through including 18-year-old power forward Jesse Hogan. Jack Watts and Colin Sylvia remain unsigned. Watts appears more likely to stay than not, and he is in demand. Sylvia is wanted at Melbourne and as a free agent he has a decision to make. However, the appointment of Paul Roos as coach would have made Melbourne more attractive. Sylvia's bargaining power will depend on the level of outside interest. Other clubs will be eyeing off the No.2 draft pick the Demons have put on the table. Trying to find a package that might convince the Demons to hand it over will be the difficult part. A couple of reasonable midfielders under 24 might do the trick but as everyone knows, they don't just grow on trees. - Peter Ryan 

The signing of Paul Roos will most likely see Jack Watts choose to stay at Melbourne. Picture: AFL Media

NORTH MELBOURNE
After years of patiently building its list through youth at the draft, North has signalled its intent to target ready-made talent in this year's free agency and trade periods. St Kilda midfielder Nick Dal Santo, 30 next February, and Carlton small forward Eddie Betts, 27 in November, top the Roos' wish list. Both would immediately address the club's needs, Dal Santo the Roos' lack of elite outside midfielders and Betts their lack of a genuine crumbing small forward. With key defender Luke Delaney having requested a trade, North has shown some interest in Greater Western Sydney backman Josh Bruce. However, St Kilda would appear to lead the race for the 21-year-old Giant, with North now likely to offer veteran defender Michael Firrito a contract for 2014. Rookies Ben Speight and Cameron Richardson are North's only confirmed delistings, but Jordan Gysberts, Ayden Kennedy, Ben Mabon and Will Sierakowski all remain uncontracted. It is understood Gysberts and Kennedy will be delisted if they don't find new homes in October's trade period. After playing just 11 games in the past two seasons, Levi Greenwood might be tempted to explore opportunities elsewhere despite being contracted for 2014. - Nick Bowen

PORT ADELAIDE
Port freed up significant room on its list this week by delisting seven players – four from its senior list and three rookies. Matt Thomas, Daniel Stewart, Nathan Blee and Nick Salter will all have to look elsewhere to continue their careers, as will rookies Justin Hoskin, Danny Butcher and Darren Pfeiffer. Just as Brenton Sanderson has at Adelaide, Port coach Ken Hinkley has confirmed his interest in Jared Polec and working in the Power's favour to lure him to Alberton is that the club actually has draft picks to offer the Brisbane Lions in exchange.  If fit, Polec would seriously bolster the Power's midfield/forward potency. Young defender Tom Clurey would hope to make his AFL debut next year and with forwards Mason Shaw and John Butcher continuing to develop, both ends of the ground appear solid. Like just about every team in the competition though, a key forward/second ruckman to play alongside Jay Schulz would prove highly valuable considering the quality of Robbie Gray, Justin Westhoff, Angus Monfries and Chad Wingard surrounding him. - Harry Thring

RICHMOND
Plenty of intrigue surrounds just what is going to become of Dustin Martin after the tough midfielder told the Tigers he would be considering rival offers. Talks between Martin's management and the Tigers have broken down with the Martin party wanting more than the club is willing to offer. What happens now? Well, the Tigers could try and reach a deal with a club – Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney have been reported to be interested, with the Demons holding a very tradeable draft pick No.2 – so they don't lose him for nothing. Otherwise, Martin could walk out and whack a price on his head so he can get to the club he wants to be at or nominate for the pre-season draft where the Giants have the first selection. Or, he could remain in yellow and black next year if all this amounts to nothing. Then there's Reece Conca, who remains out of contract with Fremantle interested in the West Australian midfielder. The Tigers need a ruckman and another defender wouldn't hurt, but midfield stocks will become more important if Martin and Conca leave, given Shane Tuck has already retired. - Jennifer Phelan




The Tigers can't afford to let Reece Conca depart, especially if Dustin Martin leaves. Picture: AFL Media

ST KILDA 
The Saints are in need of key defenders and are exploring every avenue after their plan to poach West Coast's Mitch Brown broke down. North Melbourne's Luke Delaney shapes as the most likely target after he told the Kangaroos he wants to be traded. St Kilda met with the 24-year-old recently and has already put an offer to him, with the promise of regular senior football something the Roos cannot offer. St Kilda is managing the departure of its senior players and would not benefit from a mass exodus. However, there is a strong case to trade Nick Dal Santo while he still has currency. The 29-year-old has been linked with North Melbourne, and a trade could evolve with Delaney and draft picks involved. Dal Santo has reached his trigger point for a guaranteed contract extension, but it remains possible for him to move as a free agent until that contract is lodged with the AFL. Defender Sam Fisher is another senior player who could depart, with Greater Western Sydney approaching the 31-year-old. Fisher is contracted with the Saints for one more season. – Nathan Schmook 

SYDNEY SWANS
The Swans are typically cagey when it comes to rumours and speculation, as they are such a tight-knit unit. But they are always active during the trading period, with some rough diamonds previously joining the club and contributing mightily to the cause. Shane Mumford is the biggest name in the spotlight, as he is the only key member of last year's Grand Final-winning side yet to commit beyond this year. He is believed to be the subject of some longer, more lucrative offers – potentially Hawthorn and Greater Western Sydney – than the Swans are prepared to match. Heath Shaw is being linked with the Swans as part of Collingwood's rejuvenation of its list. Considering Marty Mattner's retirement, Shaw could slot nicely into the backline alongside brother Rhyce, although it remains to be seen whether the Pies are prepared to let such a talent leave the club. Jude Bolton and Mitch Morton are retiring at season's end, meaning there are some gaps to be filled on the roster. Some youngsters that haven't quite progressed yet, such as 2011 draftees Jordan Lockyer and Alex Brown, could be under pressure if the club wants to make more room on its list ahead of the trading period. - James Dampney


Shane Mumford is starting to look likely to move when the Swans' campaign finishes. Picture: AFL Media

WEST COAST
The Eagles have already announced five retirements and are still awaiting the possibility of a sixth that means there are plenty of spots to fill on the list but not a lot of trade bait to work with. Adam Selwood, Andrew Embley, Mark Nicoski, Brad Dick and Ashton Hams are all retired and Daniel Kerr appears to also be finishing up. The Eagles have one of the most talented spines in the AFL so the players they need are midfielders and flankers with pace and skill. Eddie Betts and Chris Yarran are two names that could fit in the West Coast side. Yarran has been linked to the Eagles given his roots are in Perth and he is close with Nic Naitanui. Dustin Martin's future is suddenly up in the air and there were unsubstantiated rumours of interest from West Coast. The Eagles would not be doing their due diligence if they did not enquire. The trouble for the Eagles is there is no coach to steer the ship in the lead-up to the trade period. The club is still confident of a coaching appointment by mid-October but trade decisions loom even sooner. - Alex Malcolm

WESTERN BULLDOGS
The Dogs are in the market for a forward, and there are reports they've already put a deal in front of Essendon's Stewart Crameri. Should that not come to fruition, they may turn to his teammate Scott Gumbleton, but they will also assess the young crop coming though the draft. A name like Jason Johannisen has been thrown up as potential trade bait to get that sort of deal over the line, although that is purely speculation at this stage. Brendan McCartney has had luck with the likes of Koby Stevens and Tom Young, so he is open to contracting mature-aged players, or players who have been in the system for a while. A dream trade would see the Dogs snare the number one pick in the draft, so that they could sign up the extremely talented key forward Tom Boyd. The club has already made changes to its list, with Daniel Cross, Nick Lower, Lukas Markovic and Patrick Veszpremi all moving on, while potential free agents Adam Cooney, Dale Morris and Daniel Giansiracusa have signed up. Dylan Addison is unsigned, and an unrestricted free agent. A key forward and a classy outside runner will be on top of the club's wish list. - Jacqui Reed