AFL.com.au presents Inside Trading, with breaking news and the best analysis of the AFL trade landscape covering contracts, re-signings, free agents, the AFL Draft and industry insights.
DOGS LOCK IN GUN FORWARD FOR LIFE
AFL.com.au reported exclusively on Wednesday afternoon that the Western Bulldogs had been progressing discussions over a long-term extension for key forward Aaron Naughton, with the club confirming they had locked in the 23-year-old on Wednesday night.
Naughton has signed an eight-year extension through to 2032, committing his future to the club before entering a contract year next season.
Naughton has established himself as one of the game's elite key-position prospects throughout his 123-game career to date, with his contract call previously looming as one of next season's biggest trade talking points.
But the athletic 195cm forward has pledged his best years to the Dogs before hitting his contract year, with talks over a long-term extension ramping up after the recent Collective Bargaining Agreement was finalised.
Naughton wasn't due to become a free agent next year, given it will be only his seventh season in the competition, but the 23-year-old remained one of four players the Dogs had put a premium on re-signing going into next season.
All-Australian ruckman Tim English is due to become one of the game's hottest free agents next year, while former No.1 pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and midfield star Bailey Smith are also heading into contract years in 2024.
Naughton, who was drafted as a key defender with the ninth pick in 2017, has since established himself as one of the game's best marking key forwards and has kicked 142 goals from 67 games over his past three seasons. – Riley Beveridge
KEY DEE NOT LEAVING
MELBOURNE forward Harrison Petty will stay at the Demons despite Adelaide's interest in the premiership player.
The Demons will be in negotiations with the Crows to trade in forward Shane McAdam, with Adelaide having interest in luring back South Australian Petty.
However, despite having a pull home, Petty is locked in to remain at Melbourne, where he is contracted for the next two seasons and highly valued as a part of the Dees' group.
Petty was a key player in the club's 2021 premiership as a defender but had turned to be a forward this year before his ankle injury in round 21.
The Crows loom as one of a number of clubs who will weigh up a play for superstar Demon Clayton Oliver, with AFL.com.au revealing on Tuesday that rivals were considering making a trade play for the gun midfielder.
That continues to be the case, with the likes of Essendon, Geelong, Sydney and St Kilda also expected to consider their options as they look at the midfield market and with picks in the 7-12 range this season.
However, any trade would have to satisfy Melbourne, where Oliver is contracted for a further seven years to the end of 2030. – Callum Twomey
HAWKS' INTEREST IN NO.1
HAWTHORN is set to explore a trade up to pick No.1 as the Hawks join the interest in the top selection and young gun Harley Reid.
The Hawks currently hold pick No.3 at the draft, but are expected to put forward interest in West Coast's No.1 selection, likely using a future first-round pick as part of the push to move up the board.
Young forward Tyler Brockman, who has requested a trade from Hawthorn to West Coast to be back closer to family in Western Australia, could also be part of a potential package although draft selections are seen as the key to any chance the Eagles shift down the order.
The likes of Zane Duursma, Nick Watson, Colby McKercher and Ryley Sanders are expected to be in the frame for the Hawks' pick if they remain in pick No.3, or No.4 if it is pushed back a position by a free agency compensation selection going to North Melbourne for losing Ben McKay to Essendon.
Inside Trading reported on Monday that North Melbourne had made a target of the No.1 choice this trade period given its big suite of picks. – Callum Twomey
POWER MID CATCHING INTEREST
PORT Adelaide midfielder Xavier Duursma is gathering interest in Victoria as clubs consider the first-round pick as a trade option.
Duursma is contracted for next year at Port Adelaide but is believed to have caught the attention of rivals, with the Power set for a busy trade period as they target Geelong's Esava Ratugolea, Essendon's Brandon Zerk-Thatcher and Western Bulldog Jordon Sweet as trades this month.
TRADE HUB All the latest player movement news
The 23-year-old played 16 games for the Power this year, for a tally of 73 across his career since joining Port as a first-round pick in 2018.
The hard-working wingman has shown his running power and courage in the air but a club would need to trade for him given his contract having another season remaining in 2024. – Callum Twomey
BLUES DEFENDER SET TO STAY
CARLTON defender Sam Durdin appears set to stay at the club in 2024, as the Blues finalise a series of list management decisions ahead of next week's trade period.
As flagged on AFL.com.au last month, Carlton is also in talks to extend forward David Cuningham and defender Caleb Marchbank after both produced impressive spells in the senior team towards the end of the club's campaign.
Durdin was a mid-season pick-up in 2022 for the Blues and has played only one AFL game for the club, but he has provided solid defensive depth and experience and looks likely to win another deal at Ikon Park.
Carlton also has interest in Gold Coast youngster Elijah Hollands ahead of this year's trade period, having been on the fringes of the Suns team after 14 games in three seasons on the club's list. But he is contracted for 2024 and is yet to request a trade from Heritage Bank Stadium.
Uncontracted midfielder Paddy Dow appears set to leave the Blues and has interest from Sydney and St Kilda as a trade target, while contracted small defender Zac Fisher is expected to move to North Melbourne. – Riley Beveridge
DAY KEEN TO GO ON
GOLD Coast veteran Sam Day is keen to play on in 2024 but faces a longer wait through the trade period before a decision is made.
Day, an unrestricted free agent, is out of contract and wants to go on for the Suns next year.
A contract call hasn't been made, with discussions ongoing as Gold Coast works through its trade period moves.
With Mabior Chol set to depart the club having two years remaining on his deal, and Adelaide, Hawthorn and North Melbourne interested, and key forward Chris Burgess requesting a trade to the Crows, Day's hopes of going on are boosted with the Suns to lose forward depth.
Day, 31, played three games this season, including his 150th game in round 22 against Sydney. He also played in the Suns' VFL premiership win last week, when he kicked 2.4 to take his season tally to 37 goals at that level. – Callum Twomey
ROO IN LIMBO
Kayne Turner became a life member of North Melbourne last month, but the utility will have to bide his time to see if he will remain at the club going forward.
The 27-year-old played 12 games in 2023 after being delisted after last year’s trade period before earning another shot via the rookie draft.
Turner was inducted at the Syd Barker Medal last month, along with co-captain Luke McDonald and former CEO Carl Dilena, after playing 130 games across 10 years of service.
After arriving at the club as a rookie and earning another shot as a rookie, North Melbourne will make a decision on an extension after the completion of this month’s trade period.
The Kangaroos have already made eight list changes this off-season with Jack Ziebell, Ben Cunnington, Aaron Hall and Daniel Howe all retiring, while Jacob Edwards, Lachie Young, Flynn Perez and Phoenix Spicer have been delisted.
WHO’S CALLED IT QUITS 2023’s retirements and delistings
Former first-round pick Aiden Bonar will also have to wait until later this month to learn his fate.
Veteran Liam Shiels has signed a one-year contract extension after continuing his career at Arden Street in 2023 after a decorated run at Hawthorn. – Josh Gabelich