FREMANTLE appears well placed to convince Hawthorn wingman Bradley Hill his football future lies with it, but satisfying the Hawks' trade demands looks set to be a much tougher task.
Hill is contracted with Hawthorn until the end of 2017 but it emerged last Saturday the West Australian had met with Fremantle coach Ross Lyon to discuss a possible move home to play alongside elder brother Stephen.
Hill told Channel Nine on Monday he would not make a decision on his future until the end of the season.
But let's assume he decides – possibly after being part of a record-equalling fourth flag in a row – he wants to go home.
How does Freo get the deal done?
Hill was taken at pick No.33 in the 2011 NAB AFL Draft. He has since played in the Hawks' 2013-15 premierships – and did not miss a final in that stretch – but he has never finished in the top 10 of the club's best and fairest award.
Most list managers and recruiters contacted by AFL.com.au felt Hill was worth a mid-to-late first round pick.
Hawthorn's asking price will presumably be at least that steep.
Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson has already signalled his desire to "have a win" at the trade table if Hill decides to leave, having watched Lance Franklin and Matt Suckling depart Waverley for relatively late free agency compensation picks.
The reigning premiers are in a strong position to broker that win.
Not only is Hill contracted for next year, he also won't qualify for free agency if he stays and serves out his contract. To get to Freo without a trade at the end of 2017 he would have to take his chances in the national or pre-season drafts.
Fremantle, on the other hand, is not well placed to satisfy Hawthorn with draft picks.
The Dockers' first pick this year will almost certainly fall at No.3 overall, which even the Hawks would concede is too much for Hill, while they traded their second-round pick (currently No.21) to Gold Coast last year.
They could trade their 2017 first-round pick, but do they risk giving away a pick that could conceivably fall near the pointy end of the draft again?
Even offering the Hawks a future second-round pick would seem at odds with Lyon's comments on Fox Footy earlier this month: "We'll go to the draft table and we'd like to get as many draft picks as we can."
Freo could try to involve another club or clubs in their dealings with Hawthorn – say the Sydney Swans, if as widely suspected Tom Mitchell seeks a trade to Waverley – but the Dockers would still have to come up with a deal that satisfied those third and fourth parties.
All of which suggests Fremantle might have to part with a player or players to get the Hill deal done.
There is rival interest in Freo free agents Chris Mayne and Zac Clarke that could help the Dockers' cause.
One list manager believed Mayne would attract offers between $450,000 and $500,000 that could net Fremantle a second-round compensation pick.
Such a pick might be part of a Hill trade, but would be unlikely to satisfy the Hawks on its own.
Who else would (a) the Dockers consider trading and (b) the Hawks be interested in?
Purely for the purposes of this exercise, let's look at some of Freo's eastern states players.
The hard-running Lachie Weller, 20, would presumably appeal to the Hawks as a like-for-like replacement for Hill, but would almost certainly be off limits.
Hawthorn might also consider tall forward Michael Apeness, 21, or utility Hayden Crozier, 22, but most likely as part of a package deal and not as a straight swap for Hill.
Will the Dockers be prepared to part with two youngsters they have patiently nurtured? Both of who were top-20 draft picks?
They might have to if they want Hill.