A young Lion could help unlock the Josh Dunkley deal, with Brisbane still hoping to swoop for a Hawthorn veteran as well.
Plus the meeting that confirmed Brodie Grundy won’t play for Collingwood again unless something crazy happens.
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LION CAN UNLOCK $4.5M DEAL AMID PLAY FOR HAWK
Brisbane will have to get “inventive” to complete the Josh Dunkley trade and they still hold interest in Hawthorn’s Jack Gunston, reports the Herald Sun’s Jon Ralph.
Western Bulldogs midfielder Dunkley requested a trade to the Lions on Monday, with his current club reportedly to ask for two first-rounders in return.
Brisbane holds picks 15, 33, 44 and 69, and so could trade their 2022 and 2023 first-round selections if desired.
But they need selections to match bids for two father-son prospects – potential No.1 pick Will Ashcroft and Jaspa Fletcher – for whom they need as many draft points as possible. Their current suite of picks alone would not be enough to match a bid for Ashcroft at pick 1.
It could see them forced to unload a player like Deven Robertson, who worked his way into the finals 22 as a defensive midfielder, with West Coast holding interest in the WA product.
Gunston, the veteran Hawks forward, is a free agent and would not cost them a draft pick.
“The Dogs will ask for two first-rounders because they think he’s (Dunkley) actually improved as a player recently,” Ralph said on Fox Footy’s on the couch.
“And I can tell you tonight that Jack Gunston is still a chance to get to the Lions. He’s an unrestricted free agent and they have cap space for him.
“So imagine bringing in Gunston, Dunkley. the Nick Daicos equivalent in Will Ashcroft, so they use up all their picks on their two father-sons.
“They’ll have to get inventive then, so I think they’re gonna have to consider the likes of Deven Robertson – West Coast very keen.
“They’ll get this deal done but it’s going to take every pick this year and next, that might be OK.”
While the trade period may be costly, it will be worthwhile for the Lions according to club great Jonathan Brown.
“I think it’s worth it because while the window’s open, it’s right that they give it another crack,” he said on on the couch.
THE MEETING THAT ENSURED GRUNDY’S EXIT
Brodie Grundy has played his last game for Collingwood, according to the Herald Sun’s Jon Ralph, after a crucial meeting which saw the club declare his salary needs to be off-loaded.
Grundy is expected to end up at Melbourne this trade period in a remarkable turn of events for the superstar ruckman who signed a seven-year, $7 million deal in 2020.
While the Magpies midfield clearly missed his output after he went down with knee and ankle injuries during the season, the club has multiple other trade targets who can’t fit under the cap if Grundy remains.
“Let me tell you what’s happening – I can’t explain why it’s happening,” Ralph said on on the couch.
“So at Collingwood Brodie Grundy has played his last game at the club, barring an extraordinary backflip. This has all been driven by Collingwood, not Grundy.
“My understanding is the football boss Graham Wright met with Grundy’s management and said we need his cap space off the boks. It enabled him to look around, he chose Melbourne over Port Adelaide and Geelong.
“He only wants to go to Melbourne, he will go to Melbourne. The Pies have a little bit of interest in Sam Hayes, who is the Port Adelaide tap ruckman.
“But you look at last week, Sean Darcy, 19 hitouts to advantage (vs Collingwood). They were dominated in the ruck again (against Sydney). I can’t explain it, but it’s going to happen.”
However St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt couldn’t understand why the Magpies appeared to be swapping Grundy for Brisbane forward Dan McStay and $300,000 of cap space.
“They’re bringing in McStay on $600,000. So Grundy goes out on $900,000 if you’re paying $300,000 of it (his overall $1.2 million salary) – you’re only saving $300,000 in the cap? And maybe you get McStay instead of Grundy?” he asked.
Ralph responded: “They bring in (Billy) Frampton, they bring in potentially (Bryaden) Fiorini on very little, they bring in Bobby Hill. I don’t think any of those guys are game changers.
“(Jordan) De Goey’s on $750,000, he’ll get $800,000, so it’s not about De Goey.”