THE WESTERN Bulldogs will be open to offers for their first-round draft pick this year as they navigate the best way to match a bid for possible top-three pick Sam Darcy.
The emergence of the father-son prospect as a No.1 contender continues the club's strong history with the rule, with five already on the Bulldogs' list.
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But if a bid comes for the 204cm son of former ruckman Luke Darcy within the first handful of selections, the Bulldogs at this stage only have their first-round pick (currently No.17) and their fourth-round pick (No.72) to match, which is a total of 1044 points.
The Dogs last year traded out pick 14 in a deal that helped net them Adam Treloar and build their points to match a bid for No.1 pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and the club's general manager of list and recruiting Sam Power said moving their first pick would again be an option in 2021.
"We'll wait and see how it all pans out in the second half of the year and post championships where that sits. If it's what it looks like then clearly it would have to be a consideration for us to look at it if that was the best choice for the club," Power told AFL.com.au's Road to the Draft podcast.
"We only have our first and our fourth [picks] given a couple of other trades last year so there's potentially some points considerations there that we went through last year to a degree as well.
"We've got time to assess all that and work that out and other clubs obviously will be assessing what they need to do."
The Bulldogs could also pick up points through the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period if any players look for opportunities elsewhere, with midfielder Patrick Lipinski among those out-of-contract Dogs attracting interest.
Another option would be going into a points deficit to land Darcy, who has shone this season as an athletic key forward, including a six-goal bag in Vic Metro's recent trial game.
Going into deficit would push back the Bulldogs' earliest pick at the 2022 draft, a situation the club worked hard to avoid during last year's off-season to match the Crows' bid for Ugle-Hagan at No.1.
"It all depends on the situation. Clubs have been into deficit before and clearly made very good decisions in what they did in the first instance that pushed them into deficit," Power said.
"The current system and rules allow clubs to do that. This year we haven't put any attention to that but in terms of last year we were really keen to cover the points in that draft with Jamarra and trading out pick 14 and then doing a later trade in the picks swap phase to cover the points in case the bid came at pick one.
"That was definitely our strategy last year to protect the 2021 draft as much as we could and cover the points which we were fortunate to do."
>>LISTEN to Sam Power's full chat in the player below