Late pick enough to seal Eddie’s Blues return
CARLTON is set to secure Eddie Betts for one of the last picks in the 2019 national draft, with Adelaide expected to pay some of his wage.
But the Blues still have to make significant progress with trade targets Jack Martin and Tom Papley to round out their trio of small forward acquisitions.
Betts, 33 in November, looks set to find his way back to Carlton in a late trade that will see Adelaide saving cap space and also changing the demographic of their list.
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It means they could contribute some part of his 2020 wage, given they were on the hook for all of it if he remained at the Crows.
He has been one of Adelaide's great servants but it is a win-win move for him to get to the Blues because it allows the Crows to blood young players in his position to build its next premiership list.
The financial component is the last hurdle for Betts' move to the Blues given there is a willingness to put him on the Carlton list again.
At this stage Carlton's offer for Gold Coast half forward Jack Martin has been a future second-round selection given they do not have a 2019 second-round pick.
Suns list manager Craig Cameron and Carlton list boss Steve Silvagni are set to meet in coming days, with Gold Coast asking for a first-round selection.
Carlton will clearly have to sweeten the offer of a 2020 second-rounder or find another player to trade to the Suns, with no current taker on a move north in exchange for Martin.
Carlton's first round pick - No. 9 - will be saved for the potential deal with Sydney's Tom Papley, with the Blues still hopeful the Swans will relent and ask for him to be traded.
His girlfriend lives in Melbourne and he is hoping to be traded back to Victoria to be closer to his family in Gippsland's Bunyip.
But with a contract that runs to 2023, Sydney is absolutely steadfast about keeping him at their club long-term after he hit a games-based trigger that locked him away for two extra years.
The Blues will not force that deal early, aware Joe Daniher's potential trade demand to Essendon might see Sydney needing that No. 9 pick to get the Dons star.
Carlton has shown itself keen to make adventurous trades after eventually ending up ahead of Adelaide on a trade that saw the clubs swap 2019 first-round picks and the Blues drafting Liam Stocker.
But a trio of trades have also included deals for Bryce Gibbs and Mitch McGovern.
With Gibbs battling this year and McGovern also down on form and fitness, the clubs would feel they have broken even across those deals and should remain strong trading partners.