There is no doubt that Pearce Hanley is a good, if not very good, football player. He has been one of the bright lights for the Lions in the otherwise bleak recent past. A rangy half-back who has seen more time in the midfield of late, Hanley was a part of the Leppitsch-era rebuild which was officially called off a couple of months ago. With Brisbane seemingly being another three-to-five years away from contention, Hanley’s fit as a 28 year old building block in this process is unsure.
The issue with Hanley’s value is his advancing age. Hanley is right in the middle of what you would consider to be the peak of his career, but HPN projects that he has just three years of AFL football left in him, potentially playing 60 games, until the year he turns 31 when a typical footballer retires. If he can sneak a fourth season then his value would align with the upper end of the estimate above (pick 36).
The pick that has been floated at this stage for Hanley has been pick 8. This would be massively overs for a 28 year old moving to a rebuilding side, with another recently recruited rebounding half back (Malceski) already in the squad:
HPN suspects given their glut of picks and impatience with development that Gold Coast would be willing to pay overs for Hanley, but “overs” could also include any one of their second round picks, such as pick 22:
If Gold Coast were determined to only pay a draft pick whose expected output represents fair value for Hanley, their third rounder (pick 43) would seem fairer:
If the Lions are determined to get another high draft selection, perhaps a more complex trade could be worked out. HPN has calibrated this one to the upper end of the fair spectrum, considering Hanley’s contracted status:
However, this last trade makes perhaps too much sense to be seriously considered.
Verdict: We wish more teams made trades like the last one.