Negotiations are progressing on a bumper four-club trade that would see Jason Horne-Francis join Port Adelaide and the Giants snatch the No.1 pick in this year’s draft.
North Melbourne and West Coast are the other two clubs involved and the potential blockbuster deal could end several impasses.
The Kangaroos rejected multiple big offers for pick one before drafting Horne-Francis last year, but his shock request to become a Power player on trade period eve, after a tumultuous debut season, has changed things.
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North list boss Brady Rawlings and new head of football Todd Viney understandably want a strong return for the 19-year-old midfielder, who is considered a generational talent.
The clubs are intertwined because the Eagles hold the second pick in the draft and one of their players, Junior Rioli, also wants to be traded to Port, while GWS has stockpiled five top-20 picks while sending out established talent.
Recruiters suspected for days that the Giants, who have selections three, 12, 15, 18 and 19, would make a move for pick one and there is genuine traction towards that.
There would be a series of pick swaps this year and next but the crux of the deal being discussed would see Horne-Francis and Rioli head to the Power, GWS score pick one, the Roos get selections two and three, and West Coast eight and 12.
The Eagles were previously adamant they would not consider a similar deal that would have seen them receive Port Adelaide’s pick eight and a future first-round pick for No.2 and Rioli.
They would need to come out a winner with later pick swaps to agree to anything, as would North Melbourne, given Horne-Francis is contracted and only one season into his AFL career.
It’s believed West Coast’s list management team is coming around to this latest proposal.
The Giants would receive the first live selection, after a possible bid on Brisbane’s father-son prospect Will Ashcroft, and are strongly linked with Jeremy Cameron-clone Aaron Cadman, a hugely promising key forward from country Victoria.
Cameron’s departure for Geelong two years ago has left GWS short on targets in the front half despite Jesse Hogan showing positive signs, including a 35-goal season in 2022.
The Giants are also set to further bolster their draft hand in a trade that will see Jacob Hopper follow ex-GWS teammate Tim Taranto to Richmond.
Basics of the trade (would be more picks involved)
North Melbourne gets: Picks 2 and 3
GWS gets: Pick 1
West Coast gets: Picks 8 and 12
Port Adelaide gets: Jason Horne-Francis and Willie Rioli