GWS might be forced to offload one of their stars in the upcoming trade period as their salary cap tightens.
Superstar midfielder Josh Kelly is among the names generating speculation given his mega contract, with Saints and Dockers coach Ross Lyon stating the Giants ‘“have to make some really hard decisions” on their list.
Kelly comes out of contract at the end of 2021, with GWS having the option to trigger an extension of his reported $1 million-a-season deal.
It would see him stay with the Giants for a further eight year, while if the clause isn’t triggered, Kelly would be a free agent at the end of 2021.
Earlier this week coach Leon Cameron said the Giants were “confident he (Williams) is going to be a Giant for life” after “really good dialogue” between the club and Williams’ team.
He also indicated that his club could keep both Williams and Cameron.
“History says … their top five players, we will keep them, a free agency list. Look after the top and then just get role players in,” Lyon told Channel 9’s Footy Classified. “But Kelly sits in the star category, doesn’t he?
“They have to make some really hard decisions. Both Williams and Kelly, you wouldn’t want to lose either of them. I’m not sure how they’d make the decision.”
Kelly’s season has been inconsistent compared to previous years, which goes along with how GWS have performed in 2020.
The star Giant has averaged 22.2 disposals and 3.8 clearances per game, but will miss his side’s clash with Carlton on Thursday after suffering a heavy concussion after colliding into teammate Shane Mumford’s knee last week.
“He’s clearly playing more of an outside role on the wing, half forward, more than he previously has been when he was a Brownlow Medal contender as a midfielder,” Footy Classified co-host Sam McClure said on Channel 9.
“He’s an interesting part of their make-up for the list going forward.
“They’re so far over the salary cap, more than any other team. If Zac Williams doesn’t go and they keep him, they’re going to have to lose several – and one’s going to have to be a big fish.”
North Melbourne was very keen on signing Kelly back in 2017 before he eventually recommitted to the Giants. Kelly’s dad played 61 games for North in the early 1980s.
“There was talk about him going to his father’s club, North Melbourne,” Eddie McGuire said.
“They have more money than they can pay anyone at the moment, North, they have a great pick, Pick No. 2, in this draft, which is a pretty good draft.
“Would that be where they go to try and save some salary cap and get a young player in that doesn’t cost much who’s going to be a future star?”