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Live pick trading on the agenda?

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: Gillon McLachlan, Chief Executive Officer of the AFL addresses the room during the 2016 NAB AFL Draft at the Hordern Pavilion on November 25, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
The draft could have a new look with live trading a possibility in the future
It'd basically mean you're not bound to a club until the end of the draft
Gold Coast List Manager Scott Clayton

The AFL will continue to debate introducing the trading of picks on draft night as some clubs push for it to be a part of this year's event.

Many clubs have seen the ability to swap selections during the NAB AFL Draft as the next obvious step in the evolution of player movement.

The fluid nature of the selection order since the establishment of the new father-son and academy bidding process - which became a live element of the draft for the first time in 2015 - has added a new and less predictable dimension to the draft in the past two years. 

The AFL's player movement group, made up of senior list managers and club and League officials, are due to meet later this month, with live trading of picks on the agenda to be discussed. 

Gold Coast list manager Scott Clayton has been an advocate for trading to be included in the night, and said it shouldn't just be restricted to draft selections.  

"As we evolve there's an appetite to free stuff up and make it all more interesting, which has certainly happened in regard to live bidding on the night," Clayton told

"It seems like a natural progression to me being able to trade picks on the run on the night. I also think we should look at being able to pick players and then trade them during the course of the night." 

Making trades during the draft has been a central element to sport in America, with NFL and NBA clubs able to trade players as well as picks during their respective drafts.  

While already listed players being traded during draft night appears a long way off in the AFL, the League hasn't ruled out bringing in the significant addition of being able to move picks for this year's draft, which will again be held in Sydney. 

Clayton said he couldn't foresee already listed players being up for trade on draft night at least in the short-term plans of the competition, but that players in the draft pool might not finish the night where they were first selected. 

"It'd basically mean you're not bound to a club until the end of the draft," he said. "You might go through a couple of situations before settling, I think that'd be interesting."  

Such a move would enable clubs to target the prospects they most want to add to their list. For instance, with Carlton keen on Sam Petrevski-Seton last year, the Suns could have drafted him at pick No.4 and then offered him back to the Blues as part of another deal. 

Or, if only picks were able to be swapped, a club in the middle of the first round, such as Adelaide, may have seen that midfielder Will Brodie was still available at pick nine and then made advances to the Suns to get that selection to secure Brodie.

Clayton said he hoped to see the draft livened up by the addition of trading this year. 

"We're evolving all the time and we've gotten to live bidding, so the natural evolution is to trade picks on the night," he said.

A date has not been set yet for this year's draft, but it will move from the Hordern Pavilion, where it was held last year near the SCG, to the city's new Sydney International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour.


The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs