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.
BOMBER PREPARED TO WALK
ESSENDON key defender Brandon Zerk-Thatcher is prepared to walk to Port Adelaide via the Pre-Season Draft if a trade can't be executed before the deadline on Wednesday night.
The South Australian requested a move back to Adelaide last month and is determined to get to Alberton.
The Bombers offered Zerk-Thatcher a three-year contract to remain at the club, but the backman is keen to return to his home state and has no intention to remain at the club.
Port Adelaide list manager Jason Cripps met with his Essendon counterpart Adrian Dodoro on Monday to continue negotiations between the two clubs.
Despite the slow progress to date, the Zerk-Thatcher camp remains confident a deal will be brokered before the deadline.
Wingman Xavier Duursma has requested a move to the Bombers with a straight player swap unlikely to get the deal done with the Victorian still contracted for 2024, providing the South Australian club with leverage.
The Power have three other trades still in play with just two days remaining in this year's trade period with Western Bulldogs ruckman Jordon Sweet expected to find his way to the club far more easily than Geelong key defender Esava Ratugolea.
Port Adelaide has two picks in the 40s – 41 and 49 – which are expected to come into discussions for Sweet, while Ivan Soldo remains keen on heading to Alberton Oval, where he has the chance at nailing a No.1 ruck role and a longer-term deal on the table.
A stand-off in the Ratugolea talks could see the key defender head to the National Draft if a deal is not secured by the deadline, where the Power would look to select him with the draft choice they have offered to the Cats. – Josh Gabelich, Callum Twomey
HAWKS MAKE D'AMBROSIO MOVE
HAWTHORN has put a later pick on the trade table for wantaway Bomber Massimo D'Ambrosio.
The Hawks have put forward an offer to the Bombers for the 20-year-old, who played 16 games with the club since being a mid-year pick-up in 2022.
After its selections in the first two rounds, the Hawks hold picks 44, 54 and 63 in the latter stages of the draft, with 63 expected to be the choice put to Essendon.
The Hawks gathered picks 44 and 63 for losing forward Tyler Brockman to West Coast on Saturday, but also have father-son considerations with pair Will McCabe and Calsher Dear expected to attract bids this year.
Gold Coast is looking for a future second-round pick for Mabior Chol, who has chosen Hawthorn as his destination on a four-year deal with a trigger for a fifth season. – Callum Twomey
CONFIDENCE GROWS IN HOLLANDS TALKS
THERE is a growing confidence that contracted Gold Coast midfielder Elijah Hollands will land at Carlton before Wednesday night's trade deadline, after discussions continued throughout Monday.
Although the Blues are still sorting through a deal that will take Paddy Dow to St Kilda, there is now a better understanding of the Suns' asking price for Hollands and a belief that negotiations will progress in the coming days.
The deal was considered to be a genuine 50/50 chance to eventuate heading into the weekend, with Gold Coast keen to push picks into the future as well as upgrade selections this year to amass more draft points for its Academy stars.
Carlton, meanwhile, had been hoping to assess its draft hand after completing deals taking Zac Fisher to North Melbourne and Dow to St Kilda before entering into meaningful discussions around Hollands.
Hollands, who is contracted for 2024, is a former top-10 pick but has managed just 14 games across three seasons for the Suns. A move to the Blues would see him unite with his younger brother Ollie at Ikon Park. – Riley Beveridge
DEES ASSESS DRAFT HAND
MELBOURNE continues to look at ways to get higher up the draft order, having already shifted up the board to land two picks inside the first 11 selections this year.
The Demons are currently armed with picks No.6, 11 and their own future first-round selection, while they also have pick No.42 thanks to James Jordon's free agency compensation and a future third-round pick courtesy of the Bulldogs trading for James Harmes.
It follows Melbourne's deals for Brisbane ruckman Tom Fullarton, while Melbourne must also prise wantaway Adelaide forward Shane McAdam to the club after its initial offer of a future second-round pick was rebuffed.
Speaking to Gettable on Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio, Demons list manager Tim Lamb said the club remains flexible with its draft picks and is still digging into ways to get higher up the draft order.
"Potentially, yeah," Lamb said.
"It’s not rocket science, the higher you get up the draft the better look you get at it. We're really happy at picks No.6 and 11. We think we'll get two really, really good players there. We're really comfortable there.
"But we're always open to any opportunity around any of those picks. That will be something we'll look at. It could be that, it could be trading something else in the future, who knows? We're in a good spot, there." – Riley Beveridge
WILL EAGLES MAKE CURTIN CALL?
TOP PROSPECT Dan Curtin says he has not yet been informed of West Coast's draft plans, reiterating he would be comfortable leaving Western Australia and moving interstate if he's not selected by the Eagles.
Curtin is among the draft's top key-position prospects, having played across all three lines in a campaign where he has perhaps impressed most as a 195cm intercept option in the backline.
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His standing as a likely top-five selection has led many to question whether West Coast could shift back from the No.1 pick in the draft, amassing multiple selections where they could grab the local prospect among others.
However, speaking to Gettable on Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio on Monday, Curtin revealed he hasn't been pursued by the Eagles harder than any other club and insisted he's comfortable going anywhere at November's national draft.
"Obviously, staying in Western Australia would be great. But it would be just as great moving away. I think it would be a great experience and I reckon I would settle in just fine," Curtin said.
"I haven't really had a chat with them (West Coast) as of recently, except for at the combine. But not before that … I have been in talks with them just as much as the other clubs." – Riley Beveridge
CLUBS MOVE ON FUTURE PICKS
ALREADY five picks in next year's first round of the draft have switched hands in this trade period as clubs load up for next season.
Fremantle now holds three first-round picks for next year after agreeing to Lachie Schultz's trade request with Collingwood, with the Dockers having the Magpies' first pick, Port Adelaide's first pick and their own first pick next year.
They also got back a second-round pick for next year which is tied to St Kilda in the Liam Henry trade on Monday.
Gold Coast has the Western Bulldogs' first pick, which came to the club via the pick swap deal last week that netted the Dogs pick No.5 this year.
North Melbourne's two end-of-first round picks for 2024 have also been offloaded in deals, with Sydney owning one of the selections in the Dylan Stephens deal and Gold Coast holding the other in another pick swap. – Callum Twomey