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Live draft pick trading could be in next year

Draft pick trading could be introduced as early as next year - AFL,Draft
Draft pick trading could be introduced as early as next year
But my opinion is it will come in next year, which will be exciting
Hawks list manager Graham Wright

THE AFL looks increasingly likely to introduce American-style live draft pick trading during each year's national draft – and possibly as soon as 2018.

AFL.com.au reported in June the draft night innovation was being discussed among the AFL's player movement working group.

It would be another significant development after free agency changed the AFL exchange landscape forever in 2012.

Details are still being worked out, but the situation has advanced to the point where Hawthorn recruiting and list manager Graham Wright and Geelong chief executive Brian Cook discussed it publicly the past two days.

In-draft trading would enable clubs to assess the value of their picks on the run and make moves based on which players are still available to increase their chance of landing targeted footballers.

Swap central: Why did your club trade picks?

American sporting leagues, such as the NBA and NFL, can trade players and picks during their drafts, but Wright's belief was AFL clubs would be restricted to picks only, at least initially.

"It hasn't been fully tested and how it would work and where we'd all be and whether (clubs) would be … at our home bases or whether we're in one venue, how it all works hasn't all been finalised," Wright told hawthornfc.com.au.

"But my opinion is it will come in next year, which will be exciting. I think the Trade Period will probably work similarly to how it is now, so there will be picks and players going around October 20.

"Then I think the way it will work is you'll be able to trade picks basically after that period of time, where players stop, all the way through to the draft and in the draft. It will be an exciting and new phase in what the draft will look like."

Cook, speaking on Melbourne radio station SEN on Saturday, said live draft pick trading was inevitable in the AFL.

"To be really honest, I wouldn’t get involved in that, and so I'm only perceiving what my people would feel about that," Cook said.

"I'd think they would prefer not to, but I just think there's going to be more and more changes with more and more flexibility and movement between players and draft picks and so forth and so on in the next few years.

"It's just something we have to do, I think."