AFL trade news: Josh Dunkley linked to Essendon, GWS Giants secure draft war chest with Tanner Bruhn Geelong trade

The Giants have sealed a trade with Geelong to send Tanner Bruhn to the premiers for another pick inside the top 20.

The first official deal on Friday sees Bruhn, the No. 12 pick from the 2020 draft, move to Geelong in a straight swap for the Cats’ Pick 18.

It is one of several stories making trade headlines on Friday, including another complication in the stand-off between the Bulldogs and Brisbane over the future of Josh Dunkley.

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In a bombshell twist, talks have broken down between the two clubs with the Bulldogs reportedly telling the Lions that they’re dreamin’.

The Giants have also been making headlines in other trade scenarios with rumours about star pair Lachie Whitfield and Nick Haynes.

While the club is losing a host of top-line stars, including Tim Taranto and Bobby Hill this trade period, the club has also assembled a war chest of draft picks, with five selections inside the Top 20.

The Giants now have Picks 3, 12, 15, 18 and 19.

There are murmurs swirling that Whitfield and Haynes could be free to look for new clubs, despite both having long-term contracts.

It emerged on Wednesday that Toby Green is “frustrated” by some of the moves the club has made recently and was briefly linked to a potential move. That has since been shut down by Giants board member and former Brownlow medallist Jimmy Bartel. However, Bartel’s recent comments on Whitfield and Haynes poured fuel on the fire on rumours suggesting the pair could be on the table as the club looks to free up salary cap room.

The pair’s futures are reportedly being discussed as potential trade targets, should a deal between GWS and Richmond over contracted midfielder Jacob Hopper not be reached.

There was speculation on AFL Trade Radio on Thursday that St Kilda and Hawthorn would be potential suitors for Whitfield and Haynes.

However, leading football journalist Damian Barrett said on Thursday clubs largely haven’t been interested in the pair.

“There’s not clubs jumping off and trying to fight each other for them,” he said on AFL Trade Radio.

“They come with strings attached and those strings for both of them are financial.”

Whitfield is contracted through to the end of the 2027 on a deal reported to be worth around $1m per-season. Haynes also has two years remaining on his contracted, estimated to be worth $900,000 per-season.

Fremantle deal is nowhere near being struck

It has now emerged the broken Dunkley deal is the reason the Bulldogs and Fremantle have barely kicked off talks surrounding star ruckman Rory Lobb.

It was reported in Perth on Thursday night Fremantle has rejected the Bulldogs’ offer of Pick 30. Fremantle has previously said in public it won’t let Lobb leave, despite his desire to move to the Bulldogs.

Channel 7’s Ryan Daniels first reported the deal is nowhere near being finished because the two clubs are waiting to see what draft picks the Bulldogs will have up their sleave by the time a deal for Dunkley is sorted.

According to the report, Fremantle is demanding an earlier pick inside the 15-22 range. Lobb is contracted by the Dockers through to the end of the 2022 season.

Essendon lurking as threat to turn Dunkley saga on its head

The Western Bulldogs threatened to let Dunkley fall into the pre-season draft if Brisbane doesn’t improve its offer for the 25-year-old.

It was reported on Thursday the Bulldogs were left “staggered” by the Lions’ latest offer.

According to SEN’s Sam Edmund, the two clubs have largely agreed that a deal could be struck surrounding the Pick 21 Brisbane has and the club’s future first round pick.

However, the deal has fallen apart because the Lions are demanding the Bulldogs throw later round picks into the deal, on top of Dunkley.

The Bulldogs’ threat to let the uncontracted Dunkley go uncontracted into the pre-season draft, with the hope of bringing him back to the club, has a potentially fatal flaw it has now emerged.

Rival clubs would have the chance to snatch Dunkley off the board with earlier picks in the draft — should the Lions and Bulldogs fail to reach an agreement.

That would open the door for Essendon, which reportedly has a war chest of salary cap space and previously tried to sign Dunkley away from the Bulldogs. The move would also potentially open the door for Port Adelaide, which was reported to have offered Dunkley a rich, multi-year deal before he made his decision to request a move to the Lions.

Dunkley has officially requested to be traded to Brisbane after reportedly agreeing to terms on a six-year deal worth more than $4 million.

The Lions appear to have overstretched their hand, having also committed to a trade with Hawthorn for sharp-shooter Jack Gunston, while also needing a huge amount of draft capital to take father-son prospect Will Ashcroft in the draft when the teenager is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick. The club also needs enough draft capital to be able to take Jaspa Fletcher as a father-son selection in this year’s draft.

Collingwood star bakes commentator over radio claim

Collingwood star Taylor Adams has given a stinging response to commentary that appeared on AFL Trade Radio.

Adams leapt to the defence of Collingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy, who is expected to make a move to Melbourne this trade period.

Debate has swirled in recent weeks over the Magpies’ decision to shop Grundy to the Demons as the club secured former Lions star Dan McStay in free agency as a replacement. Grundy’s trade is being held in limbo by the Demons’ haggling with the Dockers over a trade for Luke Jackson.

The Demons expect Grundy’s move to the club to go through without drama once Jackson’s departure is finalised. Grundy is reported to be disgruntled about Collingwood’s decision to ask him to leave. He has reportedly agreed to a pay cut to make the move to Melbourne go through. Collingwood is also reported to have agreed to pay some of Grundy’s wages in coming years.

The situation was brought to the surface again on Wednesday night with former AFL recruitment expert Matt Rendell saying: “He (Grundy) doesn’t offer much in a leadership sense. He’s not in the leadership group for a bloke that has been around as long as he has and how influential he is in games”.

Taylor Adams responded on Twitter by posting: “How can you comment on the quality of someone’s leadership when you have never been led by that particular person?”

Monster three-way trade is brewing

North Melbourne is reportedly in talks with two other teams about a deal that would see the club receive pick two in the upcoming AFL Draft in return for wantaway young gun Jason Horne-Francis.

The Herald Sun reports Port Adelaide, West Coast and North Melbourne are discussing a three-way trade that would see last year’s number one pick and Junior Rioli head to the Power.

The proposed three-team deal would also involve West Coast sending its pick two to Port Adelaide for pick eight and a future first-round pick.

The deal is far from done however, with the Eagles making it clear they need more to entice them to go ahead with the trade.

“Significantly more would need to be included for West Coast,” 7NEWS reporter Ryan Daniels said.

“Not dead, but far off.”

Port Adelaide would reportedly also have to part ways with at least one player to satisfy the demands of the Eagles and Kangaroos.

If the deal eventuates, it would leave North Melbourne with both the first two picks of the 2022 Draft – a seemingly satisfactory result given the loss of last year’s number one pick.

Brisbane is expected to leap-frog North Melbourne into the No. 1 pick with Lions father-son prospect Will Ashcroft expected to be selected first.

Demon puts public pressure on Melbourne to play ball

Star ruckman Luke Jackson has reportedly toured Fremantle’s facilities, putting further pressure on the Demons to reach an agreement with the Dockers.

Widespread reports have suggested Jackson wants to be traded, but has only officially requested to be traded to a team in Perth.

Despite his private desire to play for the Dockers next year, the Demons this week stated the club was entertaining offers from West Coast.

Fremantle has reportedly prepared a monster, long term contract offer but the move has been clouded by the Demons’ reportedly demanding more than two first round selections (including at least one pick inside the top 10) to let him leave.

Channel 7’s Ryan Daniels reported on Monday night the Dockers will offer their first round selections for the 2022 and 2023 drafts.

However, Melbourne list manager Tim Lamb said on AFL Trade Radio the club wants more than that with the Dockers’ top selection in the 2022 draft being Pick 13.

He said the club met with the Eagles on Tuesday to discuss a trade for Jackson.

“We will be doing a deal with whoever gives us the best offer. That will include both clubs in WA. Whoever offers us the best deal is where Luke will end up,” Lamb said.

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