Carlton made headlines when they traded into the draft to snag Morrish Medallist Liam Stocker. For a side that many have given short odds for the least amount of wins in the 2019 season it could mean that they traded a likely top 5 pick for picks 19 and a likely improving Adelaide’s future first rounder.

On paper they paid a hefty price for Stocker but when you look at this trade you have to calculate the value of a player in hand. To say that Carlton have been in a slump would be putting it nicely. They’ve been underperforming now for way too long. Having a the pick they sent to the Crows to draft or trade with at the end of 2019 does the Blues no good this year and in the long term is only really helpful in terms of having a pretty looking age profile. Obviously they’d expect to take a good player with what will likely be a high pick, but still it provides no value to their list right now.

Having an extra year of development in a high quality midfielder like Stocker mitigates the pure loss of value in future draft picks. By this time next year you can think of the trade being something like Adelaide trading a talented 19 year old mid with a year of development and pick around 10 for Carlton’s pick 2 (assuming Adelaide finish mid-table and Carlton bottom four).

If this was done last year you could think of it as trading Jack Lukosius for something like Ed Richards and Jy Caldwell. You’d be hestitant to do that trade because Lukosius is probably the best pick 2 we’ve seen since Jarryd Roughead, but the trade is far from a disaster. Ed Richards will probably have a great year in 2019, building on his very good debut year. And Carlton will still have a first round selection to take next year, which if Adelaide’s ageing list continues to go backwards could well be in the top ten.

In modern footy development has its own value and you can’t look simply at the number of points a pick is worth when analysing trades. You only need to look at the success of mature players like Tim Kelly, Tom Stewart, Liam Ryan and Bailey Fritsch to see that snagging the highest rated 18 year old isn’t the only way to getting high quality footballers into an AFL team thes days.