THE REASON Gold Coast delisted Hugh Greenwood was clear – to itself anyway.

With its primary list of 38 players full, the Suns needed to create three spots ahead of next week's NAB AFL Draft, as the League's rules stipulate.

And so Greenwood, Rory Thompson and Jez McLennan were delisted with the club's promise to re-draft the former two (likely with picks 97 and 115) and re-rookie the latter.

But North Melbourne scuppered those plans by swooping on Greenwood as a delisted free agent with a deal Gold Coast described as a "significant offer".

It is believed the Kangaroos have offered a two-year contract, with a trigger for a third.

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But the question must be asked, why risk losing Greenwood?

Since moving from Adelaide at the end of 2019, the inside midfield bull has played 32 of a possible 39 games, missing the final six last season with a medial collateral ligament injury he has now recovered from.

The 29-year-old had one year remaining on his deal – with a trigger for 2023 – and was a regular first 22 player. He would certainly help the Suns next year.

THE BIG STEAL Roos' shock Greenwood grab

Surely there was someone else they could have exposed?

They took a risk with Greenwood and have been left with egg on their face. It's not a disaster, but it's definitely embarrassing.

Noah Anderson and Hugh Greenwood have words to Tristan Xerri during the round 15 clash between North Melbourne and Gold Coast at Blundstone Arena on June 26, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

During October's Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period, Gold Coast was looking to free up money from its tight salary cap and was prepared to part with players and draft picks to do so.

Darcy Macpherson, who played 11 games in 2021 and has been a fringe player the past two seasons, was a possible target of the Kangaroos, but the midfielder did not want to leave Queensland.

Out-of-favour former top-10 draft pick Will Brodie ended up heading to Fremantle along with a change of picks instead.

Wouldn't it have made more sense to delist Macpherson, a player Gold Coast was happy to float as a trade target, with the promise to re-draft him?

Gold Coast's Darcy Macpherson before the R16, 2021 clash against Richmond. Picture: AFL Photos

To a lesser extent, perhaps Chris Burgess? The South Australian swingman was crucial at times last season covering for injured Jarrod Witts and Sam Day, but Mabior Chol's arrival could change that.

Again, not a player the Suns want to lose, but if someone snapped him up, someone they could cover.

Greenwood's move should not surprise.

North Melbourne coach David Noble has ties to him from their days together in Adelaide, where Noble was the football manager. Assistant coach Heath Younie was also at the Crows, as was incoming Tom Lynch.

Hugh Greenwood and Don Pyke celebrate after an Adelaide victory over Geelong at Adelaide Oval in 2017. Picture: Getty Image

When Noble moved to Brisbane, he was part of a team that seriously considered trying to lure Greenwood before eventually opting for Cam Ellis-Yolmen.

Greenwood will offer a buffer for North's young midfield as contested ball beast Ben Cunnington makes his way back from successful surgery to remove a testicular tumour in July.

Gold Coast's midfield is also young and the club could have done with his physicality for at least another 12 months. At least.

All-Australian Touk Miller and former No.1 draft pick Matt Rowell are on-ball regulars, while co-captain David Swallow mixes time between the midfield and half-forward.

Jarryd Lyons when he was at Gold Coast leaving the field after a loss to North Melbourne in 2018. Picture: AFL Photos

Brayden Fiorini flourished with more time at the coalface late in the season with Greenwood absent, while Noah Anderson and Sam Flanders will also demand more time around the contest. Gold Coast also has high hopes for Alex Davies.

The one move this has drawn comparisons to is Jarryd Lyons.

It should be noted the Suns were happy for Lyons to move to Brisbane at the end of 2018, whereas the Greenwood move has caught them off-guard.

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Lyons has made fools of Gold Coast with three wonderful years in driving a Lions' resurgence. The Suns will now be praying Greenwood does not do something similar with North.