AFL Possibly Poised to Permit Draft and Player Trades during National Draft

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The AFL appears on the verge of using US-style live trading on national draft night, maybe even for the draft following the 2018 AFL Premiership competition.

Live trading of already-listed club players would certainly add a new element of intrigue, allowing clubs to trade players immediately during the draft to change draft position.

It may be the case that for the first go, it will only be possible to trade draft picks, but it remains to be seen.

Richmond Tigers assistant coach Justin Leppitsch is one of those who have come out in favour of the proposition because it works everywhere where it is used. It would probably necessitate stretching the draft out over two days.

“I think it’s something that we need to get to — and probably quicker more than later,” Leppitsch told SEN on Wednesday.

“I think it’s only a good thing. I know it’s hard and it’s new for our game and new for our fans, but I just think any opportunity where a club can get itself better, without obviously the detriment to the player, which is the most important thing.I actually think it would be good for some of the players to move on.”

Leppitsch did not mention any specific Tiger who he would like to see the back of, but it is possible that he might have one or two in mind.

“You think some players that aren’t getting a go mid-season, if they could move on they might get a new go at a new organisation and do pretty well. It doesn’t mean clubs are going to get rid of their best players, it’s more the guys that aren’t getting the opportunities,” Leppitsch said.

There is already robust fantasy interest in the national draft, but trading picks and players would add an additional element of excitement, well beyond the normal operating procedure.