AFL clubs will be able to trade future draft picks for the first time later this year.
But there will be restrictions, with only next year's selections eligible. The AFL Commission approved the change last week and club chief executives were told this week at a two-day meeting with the league. Clubs must also make two first-round draft picks in any four-year period. Any club that does not stick to that provision will face restrictions on trading future first-round selections. Also, if a club trades a future first-round pick, it will be the only future trade they can make for that year. The AFL originally had approved the trading of future picks as part of the changes around the bidding for father-son or club academy draft selections. But that was criticised on the basis that teams who had players up for bidding rights would have an unfair advantage because they could use future selections.
So the AFL Commission has allowed future trading for any draft pick. "Trading for future picks may assist competitive balance by providing flexibility for clubs, permitting them to optimise their list decisions, while also considering the risks to the competition now that clubs also had more scope to make poor decisions," the league said in a statement.