FORMER No.1 draft pick Tom Scully is officially a Hawk – and for the bargain-basement price of a 2019 fourth-round selection.
Complications around Scully's recovery from a broken right ankle, on top of Greater Western Sydney's salary cap woes, meant arriving at an appropriate value was difficult.
The 27-year-old midfielder is widely considered the AFL's best two-way runner, but whether he can return to that status remains a mystery.
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Hawthorn football boss Graham Wright is backing the club's renowned medical team to resurrect Scully's career.
"We're thrilled to have negotiated a trade with GWS to bring Tom to Waverley," Wright said.
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"He's an exceptional player and his endurance and work rate is second-to-none. Tom will help to boost our midfield stocks; offering the depth and versatility we were looking to add.
"We understand Tom has been suffering with an ankle injury, however we are fully confident our medical team will help get him back to full fitness."
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Scully hurt his ankle in round two and failed in his attempted return late in the season before undergoing more surgery to remove screws and a plate about two months ago.
"Basically, from there he's got to be loaded up again, and that will happen over a period of time over the summer," Wright told NAB AFL Trade Radio.
"He's walking unencumbered at the moment and he's another five or six weeks away from starting to jog, which will coincide with us being back at training.
"It was a significant ankle injury and it comes with a bit of a risk."
Scully played 121 matches for GWS and was twice shortlisted for All Australian selection after leaving Melbourne at the end of 2011 to accept a $6 million, six-year deal.
He has signed a three-year contract at Hawthorn with a trigger built in for a fourth season.
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Giants list manager Jason McCartney acknowledged the "uncertainty" with Scully's future and thanked him for his contribution to the club.
"It was a really complex deal," McCartney said.
"Obviously, there's a bit of uncertainty with Tom and the injury he sustained to his ankle earlier this year. That was a major thing in regard to that (his value).
"We've talked about how we're under a little bit of cap pressure, so the combination of both is where it's landed, with us picking up Gold Coast's future fourth selection.
"We're satisfied that we were able to get to that position with Hawthorn and we wish Tom nothing but the best for the future – he's an outstanding young man."
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McCartney was unable to shed any light on when Scully might return to the field, but predicted the Hawks would take a long-term view.
"I'm not a doctor and this has been really complex," McCartney said.
"There are things he's got to work through in his rehabilitation.
"I'm sure when Graham Wright speaks on Hawthorn's behalf … they understand there's some things they need to work through, and I'm sure they'll take it pretty slowly with Tom."
The Hawks received the future fourth-round pick from Gold Coast via their deal earlier on Tuesday to secure Jack Scrimshaw.
"I think he's a real talent and needs to really apply himself and be consistent from that perspective," Wright said.
"Whether he has an immediate impact I'm not sure, but we'll try and develop him along the way."
Wright dodged discussing the state of play in negotiations with Port Adelaide for Chad Wingard, who wants to become a Hawk before Wednesday night's deadline.
In further news, the Hawks traded dual premiership defender Taylor Duryea to the Western Bulldogs on Tuesday, but out-of-contract forward Ryan Schoenmakers and veteran Brendan Whitecross remain in limbo.
-with Travis King