General scenes during the 2023 AFL Draft at Marvel Stadium. Picture: AFL Photos

PICK purchasing is on the agenda to be added to the AFL's player movement landscape as the League considers the significant step of allowing clubs to be able to use salary cap space to buy draft choices.

The momentum behind adding pick purchasing to the options available to clubs has grown in recent years after first raised the concept in 2021

Last year, Essendon coach Brad Scott and Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell both added their support to the mechanism, which would see clubs on a general level be able to use their salary cap money in exchange for draft capital in deals.

That would help rebuilding clubs get their hands on more picks by using their cap money that is often unsuccessfully thrown at free agents, who traditionally have avoided going to rebuilding clubs and instead preferred joining contenders. By giving away picks for salary cap relief, the contending clubs can also attempt to keep together their list at a price. 

Whilst limitations have been put forward as part of the suggestions from clubs on pick purchasing rules, including certain amounts available to be spent by each club every year and how many picks could be transferred in a single trade period, the AFL's head of player movement Ned Guy said the League was looking at pick purchasing. 

"One of the general themes clubs have asked for through this process is greater flexibility, so we're open to it," Guy told's trade and draft show Gettable

"There are some complexities attached to that, in particular with the salary cap team, so we'll look into it. We'll probably just try to narrow down what the guardrails need to be to make sure it's not open to manipulation.

"Again, the overarching theme of what we're looking at is through competitive balance so we're really conscious we don't want to create a loophole we haven't foreseen. We're making sure we work through that."


It would be the next step in the evolution of trading, with clubs already using salary cap space to take on 'salary dumps' with players, however those transactions have always required a player to be a part of the deal. 

Changes are coming with trading rules as part of the AFL's competitive balance review, with Guy indicating the League would introduce extended years for future picks to be traded beyond the current one season.

"There's a good chance we go down that path," Guy said.