Hawthorn have more or less sold the farm, presumably in an attempt to secure Jaeger O’Meara. The pick swap they’ve undertaken with St Kilda looks like this in terms of expected output:
Hawthorn have given up three good quality picks, including a first-round pick, for a first round pick and a pretty unfruitful later one. Their 2016 picks are now 10, 57, 68 and 70 and they won’t have a pick until the second round in 2017.
St Kilda, for their part, effectively split their first rounder into two useful second round picks while retaining a first rounder of currently unknown quality. The pick split is a move we think works in isolation due to the greater expected output of two picks in this range vs a typical pick 10 but the addition of a 2017 selection is a massive bonus.
The Saints also gain a powerful incentive to hope Hawthorn deteriorate in 2017. Their 2017 pick will be useful even if Hawthorn are premiers (making it pick 18). However as Collingwood and GWS learned this year, a first round pick can become unexpectedly valuable if a team experiences an unexpected decline. For example, if Hawthorn were to finish 10th, for instance, the pick would become pick 9. The Saints have placed a small bet on the Hawks going backwards next season, and given the activity so far it isn’t most unrealistic bet.
Verdict: Hawthorn do not make out like bandits here, and the Saints build their draft portfolio.