Deal: West Coast give 14, 24, 37 and a 2020 first-round pick, Geelong give up Tim Kelly, 57 and 2020 third-round pick.
Tim Kelly is an elite on-baller with sublime skills, is powerful out of a stoppage and has great football awareness.
The 2019 All Australian finished fifth in this year’s Brownlow Medal with 24 votes and has averaged 24 disposals and one goal a game. His ability to kick goals out of stoppages has put him in the category of the most elite midfielders in the game.
The 25-year-old played most of his football for South Fremantle in the WAFL and was drafted at pick 24 by Geelong in 2017.
What does this mean for West Coast? They gain one of the best midfielders in the current competition who will add to and complement Eagles midfielders such as; Luke Shuey, Andrew Gaff and Elliot Yeo. The Nick Naitanui/Kelly partnership will be a handful for opposition sides.
The negative to this is that it may put pressure on the salary cap. With the Eagles already paying Jeremy McGovern, Gaff and Naitanui all around the $1 million mark, and with Kelly expected to be on big money, will this squeeze other star Eagles out? And will this prevent going after other big free agents?
For the Cats? The downside to this is that they lose Kelly, but the draft pick compensation is very rich. With two first-rounders and an early second (24) they could either use those to get some top young talent or trade it for a top 10 pick.
They lose pick 57 to the Eagles but gaining the aforementioned earlier picks definitely softens the blow.
The optics of this deal seemed to be thorough, measured and amicable.
It’s a six-year deal for Kelly and a win-win for both parties. However, I believe Geelong are approaching the twilight of their current premiership window and they need to add to the older talent they already have.
I’m unsure a few 18-year-olds will be the difference for them in 2020, but will hold them in good stead for their next premiership tilt. I would’ve liked to see a West Coast player packaged up in the deal, perhaps Gaff, Petruccelle or Duggan?
In saying all this, as far as draft pick compensation… it is a fair deal with all three being relatively early picks. And the West Coast side of things means that they now have the man they’ve had their eyes on since the end of last season.