Think Tank: Introducing an AFL - NRL trade period
By Aaron Callaghan
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The NBA regular season trade deadline has passed, but not before a whopping 24 trades took place.
Marc Gasol to Toronto is a real wrinkle that could tip the Eastern Conference in Toronto's favour and with regard to the Philadelphia 76ers bringing in Tobias Harris, well, he's Jimmy Butler insurance and I wouldn't be surprised if Jimmy walks. Philly cannot max four players out. Watch this space.
One could argue the merits and demerits of free agency until the cows come home but you cannot argue against the excitement created within the league and the intense focus of fan interest in the game during the trade deadline week. The media attention and fan interest during the first week of February is traditionally owned and dominated solely by the Superbowl circus as the NFL rolls into the host city. However if you were to use twitter mentions and trends as the metric, that limelight was unceremoniously stolen from them by the NBA’s trade week.
Australian sporting codes don't have the American free agency model in place obviously but that won't stop this columnist from speculating what a 'trade deadline could look like within the' Australian winter codes'. Moreover, I am fully cognizant of the AFL’s off-season trade period and one would only have to glance at Melbourne town for the week leading up to the deadline to have a grasp of the excitement created around possible trades. The phones ring off the hook at Radio SEN.
Dispel your non-belief for the rest of the article and go with it.
Here's the example:
It's round 16, two weeks before the trade deadline, your team is in first place and decimating all-comers. Your star full-forward is bombing six majors per game and is set for All-Australian honours. The unthinkable happens and he goes down with a torn ACL and as the coach looks at his list, he realises that there's no young gun to step up. So your president of football operations picks up the phone and secures a suitable replacement and in return your team is sending back two draft picks, a veteran defender and a young prospect full foward. Your team charges on to the flag and all is well (read: Until you have to dump one of your stars for salary cap relief).
Similar for the National Rugby League, however I could see the NRL utilising a 'buy out system'.
Again as the season proper winds down, setting a date for approximately round 16,the buy out market will allow teams to move on from players who aren't happy in their current situation. For example, a player who may be banished to NSW or QLD Cup could be eligible for a buy out, negotiate the remainder on their contract and move on. This is all heaped on the presumption that NRL clubs can get some credible accounting help on board to balance the books. Perhaps a raid on the North shore GPS rugby schools for up and coming accountants.
AFL - Trade period until round 16 and again in the off-season.
NRL - Introduce a buy out market. Disgruntled players can negotiate out of their contract.
There would certainly be some more semantics to be fleshed out, however the concept is interesting. Todd and Gilleon have a lot of smart people working for them, and I'm sure this is written on a white board in a boardroom somewhere.
Leave a comment below with your trade period ideas