Harley Reid kicks the ball during the U18 Boys Championships match between Vic Country and Vic Metro at Ikon Park on June 16, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

WHAT is it like to trade for the No.1 pick?

As clubs like North Melbourne and Melbourne chase West Coast's first selection, Greater Western Sydney's recruiting boss Adrian Caruso has given an insight into what it's like to nab that prized pick.

Last year, the Giants became the first side in more than 20 years to trade for the No.1 pick when they tempted the Kangaroos to move back. They then grabbed key forward Aaron Cadman with the opening selection.

Despite a series of offers this time around, the Kangaroos and the Demons have so far had no luck with their own efforts, with Caruso telling AFL.com.au's trade and draft show Gettable why it is so hard to snare the top pick.

"It's a challenge," Caruso told Gettable.

"It's bigger than just a recruiting decision, to say let's go and do it. It's a club decision. There's no doubt the clubs that have considered in the past – and West Coast and North Melbourne are in that boat this year – it's not just the recruiting team saying yes or no. It's a bigger picture decision.


"At the end of the day, for us last year it was a bit different and unique. We've probably had more picks to play with than other clubs. Handing over picks to shuffle around the order, it's got to work for everyone. It definitely worked for us, but it also worked for North Melbourne last year.

"That's what those clubs need to weigh up. Is it work the risk? You're trading players, not just picks, at that point of the draft. You're not trading for pick No.1; you're trading for Harley Reid. If North are giving up pick No.2, they're trading whatever they would be getting. You've got to look at it that way.

"But, there's no doubt, there's a reason it's never done … other than once in the last 20 years."


The Giants head into this season's draft with dual first-round selections, which currently sit at picks No.7 and 16, and while shuffling around the board remains an option, the club believes it's unlikely to move up.

"I think moving up is going to be tricky," Caruso said.

"I think now, given the clubs that are picking ahead of us and how it's panned out and where the Richmond pick ended up at pick No.7, it's going to be hard to move up. We've pretty much put that on the backburner in our minds.

"We're open with pick No.7 … we're not going to be out there trying to do anything. But if clubs come to us, we're always open-minded. Picks No.7 and 16, we feel like they're in a good spot.

"But the week before the draft, it's usually when a lot of these calls come and you have a lot of these discussions with clubs. It's just to flag things and say, 'Look, if this happened or if this guy slid would you be interested?'

"You have these plans in place, knowing that everything needs to align on the night for a trade to happen. The player needs to slide and the two clubs both need to be in a position where they're willing to do the trade. That's why a lot of them don't get done, but the discussions are always had and that will be no different for us."