Lance Franklin centrepiece of looming player movements

Lance Franklin says goodbye to fans at Glenferrie Oval the day after winning his second premiership with Hawthorn. Photo: Wayne TaylorWhen Lance Franklin finally ends the waiting – and it may be as early as Tuesday or Wednesday – and declares he is uprooting and moving to Rooty Hill, Hawthorn will receive pick No. 18 in the AFL national draft as compensation.

If and when Collingwood’s Dale Thomas declares his hand and decides on a move to Carlton, the Magpies would be likely to receive pick No. 11 as compensation.

Eleven for Thomas, 18 for Franklin – returns based on their clubs’ end-of-season ladder positions but which are clearly not reflective of their relative abilities.If Thomas stays, then the Hawks’ pick for Franklin would move up one to 17.

Essendon and Adelaide are both out of the first two rounds of this year’s draft – due to penalties imposed by the AFL for bringing the game into disrepute in the case of the Bombers and for salary cap breaches by the Crows.

As a result, all teams’ usual draft picks – No. 1 for the 18th-placed team, No. 2 for the 17th placed team and so on – come in two places. But the Giants have activated a compensation draft pick which comes into effect in the mid-first round, so picks then get pushed back one to add in the Giants at No. 9.

There has been some musing that Fremantle could yet weigh in with an offer for Franklin, but it is difficult to conceive that any potential offer could exceed the money GWS has available.

But even if the Dockers, or any other club, were to step from the shadows and make a knockout bid for Franklin, the compensation for Hawthorn would remain the same.

It is highly unlikely Franklin would be moving as part of a trade rather than as a result of activating his free agency rights.

Hawthorn might prefer a trade, but it is unlikely any club already paying out significant money for the player would also unnecessarily hand over draft picks.

The Dockers have an interest in another Hawthorn free agent, forgotten former premiership player Xavier Ellis. Like Franklin and Thomas, he is a free agent; unlike them, he is an unrestricted free agent so he can just walk.

And meanwhile, the futures of Heath Shaw (Collingwood), Dustin Martin (Richmond), Eddie Betts (Carlton), Colin Sylvia (Melbourne) and Nick Dal Santo (St Kilda) remain just as uncertain.

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