A rival club’s preparedness to shuffle back in the draft order looms as the key to helping Fremantle land Luke Jackson via a trade with Melbourne.
It comes as the Dockers’ likely compensation for losing Rory Lobb and Griffin Logue to the Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne is revealed.
Fremantle looms as arguably the biggest player in this year’s trade period as it prepares to farewell a host of players to help lure Jackson from the Demons.
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Jackson a fortnight ago officially told Melbourne he wanted to be traded home to Western Australia. While the Dees said they’d work with Fremantle and West Coast to “secure a suitable trade”, the Dockers are widely considered the clear front-runner for Rising Star winner Jackson.
It quickly emerged following Jackson’s trade request earlier this month the Demons would seek two first-round picks — including one in the top 10 — as compensation for losing the premiership ruck.
The Dockers, as it stands though, have one of the thinnest hands at this year’s draft with their natural first-round selection (Pick 13) and Geelong’s fourth-rounder (Pick 72).
The Herald Sun reported on Tuesday night Port Adelaide, which holds Pick 8, is open to dropping down the draft order, meaning the Dockers could orchestrate a pick swap with the Power that would land the former an appropriate selection they could then send to Melbourne — along with a future first — for Jackson.
Although the report stated the Power would only be prepared to shuffle back six spots and do a deal with Fremantle — which would see the Dockers also part with at least one second-round pick — if it felt the trade benefited them.
The Dockers, at this stage, don’t hold a second-round or third-round pick in this year’s draft — but that could change after separate trades involving Lobb and Logue.
While the Dockers have told Lobb they’re not interested in entertaining his trade request to the Bulldogs, Lobb’s manager Colin Young this week told AFL Trade Radio he was confident his client’s wish would still be granted.
Lobb is on a substantial Dockers contract for next year and coming off a career-best season where he topped the club’s goalkicking with 36 majors. Logue, who was selected by Freo with Pick 8 six years ago, isn’t contracted for next year but cemented his spot in the Dockers’ best 22 in 2023.
AFL Media reported the Bulldogs and Kangaroos were both prepared to offer the Dockers a second-round pick for Lobb and Logue respectively. The report suggested the Bulldogs could hand over their 2022 second-round selection (Pick 29) or future second-rounder for Lobb, while the Roos could send a future second-round pick to Freo for Logue.
Teammate Darcy Tucker, who also wants to join North, could be part of the Logue trade too.
It comes with the Dockers expected to receive a third-round pick for losing improved wingman Blake Acres to Carlton.
The other Docker that could be on the way out is ruckman Lloyd Meek, who’s contracted to Fremantle until at least the end of the 2023 season but managed just 15 AFL games since being drafted in late 2017. The Dockers want to keep him, but he’s attracted interest from several clubs and reportedly wants to join Hawthorn.
But as well as Jackson, Fremantle could also acquire Jeremy Sharp and Josh Corbett from the Gold Coast Suns.