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Live pick trades: Swans' sneaky move, Blues' bold play

Eyebrows raised as historic live trades shake up draft Matt Thompson speaks to key clubs at Draft HQ

SYDNEY has cashed in on the inaugural NAB AFL Draft live trading rules to avoid parting with a second-round pick to secure Academy prospect Nick Blakey.

In a move ticked off by the AFL, the Swans completed two separate transactions with West Coast either side of landing Blakey, while also boosting their place later in the draft.

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The Swans-Eagles moves were the first trades of the night, before Carlton and Adelaide engaged in a deal that will have major repercussions on the 2019 NAB AFL Draft.

The first transaction had the Swans moving out pick 26 (which later became 29) to the Eagles in return for a future third-round pick.

It meant the Swans only required selections 34, 39 and 40 to provide the points to match Greater Western Sydney's pick 10 bid for Blakey.

The Swans also received picks 47 and 97 in return, effectively along with Blakey.

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Moments later, the Swans again traded with the reigning premiers, this time landing the Eagles' second-round selection No.25 (initially 22) for a 2019 second-round pick.

Ultimately, the Swans moved up four spots in this year's draft and ensured they used only their later picks for Blakey, all for the cost of downgrading their 2019 second-round selection to a third-round pick. 

The masterstroke was devised by Swans' senior analyst Chris Keane on Thursday morning, allowing the Swans to attack this year's draft, while assisting the Eagles in 2019.

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"We saw the AFL to see whether it was legal to separate the two deals and do the trade for 26 first and then their 22 afterwards," Swans list chief Kinnear Beatson said.

"The AFL approved that and of course it needed goodwill with clubs that they're going to stand by their word.

"Every trade has to be ticked off by the AFL and they were prepared to do that.

"We saw Ken Wood (AFL TPP manager) and his team and they were 100 per cent it was legal.

"Creative thinking perhaps, but I don't think we've rorted any system, no."

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Meanwhile, Carlton was forced to jump over more than six rival clubs in order to secure Adelaide's pick No.19 in a monster gamble that saw both clubs swap future first-round picks.

The Blues used pick 19 to land inside midfielder Liam Stocker, the 2018 TAC Cup Morrish medallist. 

AFL.com.au understands the Crows' corporate suite at Marvel Stadium was sent into meltdown late in the evening as clubs jostled for the selection. 

Having already held interim conversations with Carlton prior to the draft, the Crows bypassed other clubs, including a handful who had registered no previous interest.

It will leave both the Crows and Blues monitoring each other's fortunes closely in 2019 with each club to enter next year's draft with the other's first selecrion.

"There's always bit of risk but with that also comes reward," Crows list boss Justin Reid said.

"An opportunity presented itself over the last 24 hours and our focus now is going back to play finals football, hopefully."

Blues fans will be banking on their side moving up the AFL ladder while hoping Adelaide misses the finals for a second consecutive year.

However, should the Blues again collect the wooden spoon next year, it will deliver the Crows selection No.1.

"What happens if we finish higher than them (Adelaide)?" Blues list boss Stephen Silvagni said.

"We made some calls during the week and we had some interest from other clubs but were in constant contact with Adelaide the last three or four days and were able to do the deal."

After securing Geelong Falcons star Sam Walsh with pick one, the Blues' next selection wasn't until No.69, forcing them to act if they wanted to add more top-end talent to their list this year.

"We had him inside our top 10, probably a bit higher than that. We think we've got a really, really good player," Silvagni said.

Chris Judd presents Liam Stocker with his Carlton jumper. Picture: AFL Photos

Stocker said he was ready to repay the big investment by the Blues.

"The confidence they showed in me to trade next year's first-round draft pick, to make sure they got me at 19, it's something that's going to take me a little bit of time to repay," he told AFL.com.au.

"It's a very big thing but I'm very glad they believe so strongly in me already."

While every club had trading plans in place, the Tigers were prepared to jump from pick 17 into the top 10 if midfielder Bailey Smith slipped past the Western Bulldogs' pick seven.

While that never eventuated, it's understood the Tigers had initiated talks with Adelaide (pick eight) and Port Adelaide (pick 10) if the Dogs opted to do a deal with GWS for picks nine or 11.

Late mail suggested the Dogs were prepared to move back in the order, safe in the assumption that Smith was only willing to play for a Victorian club.

Instead, the Dogs jumped first, landing Smith, while the Tigers acquired midfielder Riley Collier-Dawkins (pick 17 moving to 20).