THE AFL continues to put 'pick purchasing' on the table in discussions with clubs, but is still assessing whether other mechanisms can alleviate the need for teams to 'buy' draft selections.
AFL.com.au first raised the concept of 'pick purchasing' as the next evolution of trading back in 2021, an idea that would enable clubs to outright buy a draft pick off another side by exchanging it for additional salary cap space.
The AFL has since asked for feedback on the idea, with the League's new executive general manager of football Laura Kane telling AFL.com.au's trade and draft show Gettable that "there's certainly an openness from clubs" to explore the concept.
The competition's willingness to look at 'pick purchasing' comes as the AFL reviews a host of mechanisms within the Trade Period, including the bidding systems and the points-based Draft Value Index (DVI).
"It's connected to all of the other things," Kane told Gettable this week.
"What do we want it for? What's the benefit of it? And do things like having a pick in the round where you're matching a bid on the player resolve various aspects of pick purchasing?
"I think the call out is that we know some clubs want picks or they want points. How that all interacts, I think there's something to look at there. Making sure that going into a draft and having clarity around how many spots you have can then drastically change by the time you start trading picks and trying to bank points and all the rest of it.
"It's connected to the DVI, it's connected to the bidding system, but it's on the table."
The AFL is also assessing how a mid-season Trade Period would operate as part of its review, after it declared following the recent Collective Bargaining Agreement being signed in September that discussions on the topic would continue with clubs.
"The CBA clearly opened the door for mid-season trading," Kane said.
"It depends, the parameters are important, and it depends on what we want to see happen. Who is it for? Is it for the teams that are lower ranked? Is it for the teams that are higher ranked? Anything can happen midway through the season.
"If you take Carlton as an example … there's an argument that you would think, on a needs basis, they needed key-position players and then they go on to play deep into finals and have an amazing run.
"The 'watch out' is moving players to the top-ranked teams will clearly interrupt competitive balance. However, we want to create more interesting mechanisms for players to move and we want them to have opportunity in real time, not having to wait until the end of the season. The mechanics of that is where the devil is in the detail."