Brisbane Lions open to trading top pick
THE Brisbane Lions are open to trading their first pick, which would be the prized Pick 1 based on current ladder positions, in the national draft.
The Lions will consider offers for their first pick, including Pick 1, in the event that they finish bottom. But they would only trade it for what they consider an exceptional return, such as two top ten selections.
The Lions believe that a club in their position, in the middle of a youth-based rebuild, has to consider all options, including trading their valuable first pick.
Victorian teenage midfielder/forward Cameron Rayner is the current frontrunner to be the first pick in the national draft and some clubs consider Rayner to be a "flight risk" for a non-Victorian club such as Brisbane.
Some recruiters consider Rayner a stand out, but there is also a view from clubs that the top 10-12 players are relatively even - an assessment which would encourage a club to give up Pick 1, or 2, in exchange for two choices or even a combination of a first-round pick and a young player of promise.
St Kilda, which is keen on Greater Western Sydney's out of contract star Josh Kelly, would be well-placed to trade for Pick 1, given that the Saints have two first rounders - Hawthorn's and their own, which would be Picks 7 and 8 on the present ladder.
A decision to either trade or acquire a top three pick would likely hinge, as recruiters say, on how clubs rate the top end of the draft pool.
The Lions would have Pick 1 based on the current ladder, but North Melbourne are even with them on four wins and have lost their last seven games. The wooden spoon, and rights to the number 1 pick, could well be decided in the final round, when Brisbane hosts North Melbourne at the Gabba.
Carlton is one game and percentage ahead of the Lions, who would fancy their chances of winning against the Gold Coast Suns at the Gabba in round 21, as well the final game against North.
Carlton has a relatively tough run, meeting Geelong on Saturday night, then Essendon, West Coast in Perth, Hawthorn and Sydney at the SCG - and thus cannot be entirely discounted from wooden spoon/Pick 1 calculations.
North Melbourne's run of losses, and the withdrawal and/or demotion of key players last weekend against Essendon, prompted coach Brad Scott to label speculation that the Kangaroos were tanking as "absolutely laughable."