AFL Rd 4 - Western Bulldogs v Brisbane
BALLARAT, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 10: Bailey Smith of the Bulldogs in action during the 2021 AFL Round 04 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Brisbane Lions at Mars Stadium on April 10, 2021 in Ballarat, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Hawthorn has been reported to be one of the suitors looking to acquire the services of Western Bulldogs midfielder Bailey Smith after a tough year has floated rumours of a possible trade.

It was reported in August that Hawthorn announced their interest in adding Smith to their side as they continue to build one of the more impressive young sides in the game.

It was believed that Smith could ask for a trade from the Bulldogs in the hopes of obtaining more time in the midfield.

This season wasn't Smith's best ar 23.5 disposals, 3.5 tackles, and 3.6 clearances per game as he battled injury and form slumps throughout the year due to positional changes. His impact on the scoreboard was also his lowest in his career with only four goals in 2023.

According to Sam McClure via the Tradies Podcast, the Hawks are prepared to give up Pick 3 in the upcoming draft to complete the trade. But the debate will be whether the move will spark Smith back to top form or if it will be better to take a chance on a leading prospect in the draft.

“My understanding is that Hawthorn have not given up the chase,” McClure said of Smith.

“They're still willing to part with Pick 3 for him. He's a quantifiable known quantity at AFL level and you're going to get 10 years out of him versus Pick 3, which could be hit or miss.

Bailey Smith was one of the best players of the competition not so long ago. I know he's had his issues since then.”

In early September, Bulldogs list manager Sam Power spoke on AFL.com.au's Gettable and stated that Smith would remain at the Kennel for a "long, long time".

Bailey Smith during the 2022 AFL Round 1 match between Melbourne and Western Bulldogs (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

"Obviously Bailey intrigues everyone. He's one that's going to catch the attention and there was a lot more media coverage of that. But again, (he's) contracted and extremely important player for us,” Power said.

"Long-term, we talked about our midfield profile, there's some guys getting a little bit older and Bailey's that one that we really want to be that inside midfielder for us for a long, long time.

"He's a fantastic player, his best football we've seen is really good and we know he's going to have a good career ahead of him and improve from what he's already produced."

Geelong was also rumoured to be attempting to steal the midfielder but later denied any further accusation attempts. However, it was still believed that the club did have discussions to lure him to the Cattery.

The trade period begins on Monday, October 9 and any move for Smith would be one of the biggest trades this off-season.