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.
GIANTS SWEAT ON CROW DEAL
MABIOR Chol's decision to nominate Hawthorn as his preferred trade destination could have ramifications elsewhere, with Greater Western Sydney's move for forward Elliott Himmelberg hitting a snag as a result.
The Giants have long targeted a deal for Himmelberg to provide additional depth as both a forward and ruck option, but the Crows could now look to hold the 199cm player to a contract that runs through to 2024 having missed out on Chol.
Adelaide was one of a handful of clubs that held an interest in Chol, alongside North Melbourne, but the contracted Gold Coast forward decided on Thursday to take up a four-year offer at Hawthorn.
While a deal potentially taking Himmelberg to the Giants is not necessarily off, Chol's decision could leave the Crows determined to retain the player to provide additional ruck and forward depth for themselves.
The Giants had been hoping to partner Himmelberg with his older brother Harry, who remains one of the club's most important players and recently rejected free agency interest from elsewhere to pen a six-year extension.
Himmelberg has played 41 games across seven seasons with the Crows, but featured only three times this year. He is due to hit his free agency campaign when his current deal expires at the end of next season. – Riley Beveridge
SURGERY FOR ESSENDON TRADE OPTION
ESSENDON midfielder Dylan Shiel has undergone knee surgery this week to clear an issue that he managed this year, with the veteran remaining a trade option over the coming period.
Shiel is understood to have gone under the knife this week for a knee injury, having missed the end of the season with an ongoing foot injury he battled through 2023.
The 31-year-old has two years to run on his contract with the Bombers but remains a possible trade option in the upcoming window.
The Bombers will be busy players, with free agents Ben McKay, Todd Goldstein and Jade Gresham set to join, and the club also having interest in Port Adelaide's Xavier Duursma.
Massimo D'Ambrosio (Hawthorn) and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (Port Adelaide) have requested trades out of Essendon. – Callum Twomey
DEES' DRAFT HAND
MELBOURNE is now stocked with five picks inside the top 40 with a trade still to come for Brodie Grundy as the Demons loom as rising up the draft order.
James Jordon’s exit to Sydney as an unrestricted free agent saw the Demons handed pick 39 as draft compensation for losing the midfielder.
The Demons now have picks No.5, 13, 25, 33 and 39, with the Swans' pick 31 looming as a possible selection to unlock the Grundy deal.
TRADE HUB All the latest player movement news
Melbourne has to trade in Shane McAdam from Adelaide, but will still be left with a strong hand to improve its draft position after the club ruled out a move of Clayton Oliver in the trade period.
As AFL.com.au revealed on Tuesday, rival clubs had been weighing trade plays for Oliver despite his seven-year deal with the Demons, with Melbourne - after discussions with the four-time best and fairest winner - releasing a statement on Friday stating he would be staying at the club despite the rival interest.
The Demons have been a contender for Gold Coast's pick No.4, but with the Western Bulldogs leading that chase, could also be in the race to trade up to pick No.10 if the Dogs pass on that selection to the Suns, having made it part of their strategy in previous years to climb the draft board. – Callum Twomey
NORTH ASSESSES TALLS MARKET
NORTH Melbourne has met with Richmond youngster Bigoa Nyuon as the Kangaroos assess the talls market.
Nyuon, who has played one AFL game when he made his debut in 2022, is out of contract at the Tigers and has spoken to the Roos.
The Kangaroos have been exploring the options available in the talls department, with Nyuon one of the possible versatile talls available.
The 22-year-old was originally a member of St Kilda's Next Generation Academy but was drafted by the Tigers in 2019.
Nyuon, having been previously delisted by the Tigers, could move as an unrestricted free agent. – Callum Twomey
LIONS VETERAN SET TO GO AGAIN
BRISBANE expects veteran Dayne Zorko to play on into a 13th season next year.
Zorko, who will turn 35 in February, was still an integral member of the Lions' recent Grand Final side but does not yet have a contract for next season.
However, the five-time Brisbane best and fairest looks set to go around again in 2024 after recent meetings with club officials about his future.
Zorko played 20 of a possible 26 games this year, with Lions footy boss Danny Daly saying the veteran understands he might not feature every week next season but that he is excited about the potential of continuing his career.
"We've had some good chats with him this week," Daly said on Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio.
"Our expectation is that he will (play on). It's a bit like the Rory Sloane one in Adelaide, Dayne knows that there could be some challenges ahead for him next year. You can never guarantee what your body is going to do or what your form is going to do, but he understands that.
"I think in the back half of the year, he showed that he's still important for us. We'll work through that over the next week or two and hopefully get that done." – Riley Beveridge
PIE SEARCHES FOR NEW HOME
TRENT Bianco is on the hunt for a new home after being informed this week he won't be offered another contract at Collingwood.
The 22-year-old was starved of opportunities this year, managing only one game as the sub in round 17, despite playing 10 games last year, including the semi-final and preliminary final.
Bianco was told at his exit meeting this week, along with defender Trey Ruscoe who is heading back to Western Australia and set to sign with a WAFL club.
With Josh Daicos and Steele Sidebottom holding permanent spots on the wings and Will Hoskin-Elliott used in the same role, Bianco has been forced to bide his time at VFL level.
The Oakleigh Chargers product averaged 23.4 disposals from 18 disposals and is hoping to continue his AFL journey at another club.
Josh Carmichael is expected to secure a new deal for 2024 after facing a similar situation to Bianco – and former first-round pick Fin Macrae – this year, with spots in Craig McRae's side hard to secure and maintain.
Bianco played 23 times for the Magpies after being selected at pick No. 45 in the 2019 AFL Draft. – Josh Gabelich
DRAFT HUB Click here for the latest draft news
DOG SIGNS ON
BUKU Khamis has signed a one-year contract extension to remain at the Whitten Oval.
The 23-year-old had attracted interest from Collingwood but has now re-committed to the Western Bulldogs.
Khamis managed only one senior appearance this year despite an eye-catching season at VFL level where he kicked 41 goals from 18 appearances for Footscray, including eight across two finals.
The Western Bulldogs had tabled an offer for 2024 weeks ago, but Khamis weighed up other opportunities before signing a new deal.
Khamis joined the club as a Category B rookie via the next generation academy in 2018 and has played 10 games for the club since making his debut in 2021.- Josh Gabelich
DRAFTEE'S BRILLIANT RUN
SANDRINGHAM Dragons prospect Tarkyn O'Leary has pushed his name up with a brilliant run in the 2km time trial on Friday at the AFL Draft Combine.
The future wingman, who has had a consistent season with the Dragons, showed his athleticism and running power with a time of 5:48 minutes, the best of the time trial in the opening day of the Combine.
It is a boost for O'Leary's draft chances as he stormed home in front of club recruiters at the AIA Centre in Melbourne.
He beat out potential top-20 pick Darcy Wilson, who was next best with a run of 5:52 minutes, while the likes of Aiden O'Driscoll (6:05) and Archie Roberts (6:08) were also impressive performers.
Likely top-10 key forward Nate Caddy, who had focused on a strong time trial at the Combine, ran 6:35 to be among the best performers for players his size. The rest of the Combine testing takes place on Sunday. – Callum Twomey