Who won the Steele trade?
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The big question
Undoubtedly the toughest trades to judge are those that involve future draft selections. Rating any trade involves a little bit of speculation and guesswork, but St Kilda's effort in securing GWS midfielder Jack Steele is a lot harder than most.
Not only do we have to guess the value of the Saints' second-round selection in next year's draft, which is the price they paid to secure Steele, we also don't fully know what Steele is capable of producing. He struggled to earn a regular berth in the Giants' star-studded midfield. Still, we'll do our best to try and decide who won this trade.
St Kilda win
Steele is a GWS academy product and was taken with pick 23 in the 2014 AFL Draft after North Melbourne made a bid for him with their pick No.15. In 10 appearances this season, he averaged 15 disposals and four tackles and booted eight goals. He was considered in the mix to play finals for the Giants until a foot injury scuppered any chance of that happening. The Saints have a rapidly improving midfield and Steele will become a key part of that growth. At just 20 years of age, he still has a heap of development to come and should give St Kilda many years of service.
There are some people who think the Saints are ready to make the leap into the top eight next year but we reckon they might just miss, much like they did this year. Even if they do qualify for finals, we think they are still looking at a mid-table finish that would make their second-round draft pick fairly valuable. The Giants have proved adept at stockpiling important draft picks, making sure they always have ample points to use to secure academy talent. They will need all the points they can gather next year, with prospects Jarrod Brander, Charlie Spargo and Jack Powell all rated highly.
We can't decide on a clear winner or a clear loser for this one, which must make it a win-win. Steele will benefit from a lot more game time at his new club, while the Saints will gain the services of yet another tough-nut midfielder who should fit into their current squad perfectly. GWS have also been able to lock in an important selection for next year, which is much more valuable to them than it is to St Kilda considering they will get a 20 per cent discount if they use that pick to secure an academy player. This is the sort of shrewd list management that has the Giants so well placed heading into season 2017.
Who do you think won the Steele trade? Have your say in the comments below.
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