After accounting for his year off, we rated Michael Hibberd as worth about pick 43 and suggested that Melbourne’s pick 28 (now 29) actually looked a little but too much in isolation.
That assessment seems to gave been recognised, with a swap of later picks giving Melbourne a small amount back, as pick 59 is somewhat less marginal in terms of production than pick 68.
The wrinkle with Hibberd is of course that our production formula values players on past games in order to determine future games contribution – and Hibberd’s 0-game 2016 is unlikely to be repeated the way injuries can impact future durability. It’s worth noting that Hibberd is worth around pick 13 if the 2016 is ignored and 2013-14-15 is used for valuation instead.
On Hibberd’s suspension hampered performance the trade looks reasonably fair but tilted slightly to the Bombers. It’s actually quite interesting that there seems to be an implicit discounting of Hibberd’s value based on his time out of the game, because Hibberd will potentially contribute a fair bit more than pick 29 would have been expected to.
If Hibberd goes right back to playing nearly every game, the Demons will get more out of him over his career than what they gave up from a draft pick standpoint.
After trading pick 29, Melbourne will not have a pick in the upcoming draft until pick 57, a noted change for the draft specialists. However, given the relatively young profile of the Melbourne list, they can perhaps afford to take a year off the November ritual.
Verdict: Fair trade, likely to favour the Demons if Hibberd’s year away from football hasn’t negatively affected him.