When live trading during the draft was introduced in 2018, Melbourne were the club on the phone's looking to make a big move and try and strike a deal for a promising rookie.
According to AFL.com.au's Cal Twomey, the Demons showed strong interest in one promising product in particular, Port Adelaide gun Zak Butters, with Melbourne attempting to make a move up the draft order to secure the crafty utility.
Up until Port Adelaide's second selection (pick 12), Butters had not been selected and Melbourne reportedly contacted the Power while they were on the clock, offering Port a future first-round pick (which would have been pick 3 in the 2019 draft that eventually turned into Luke Jackson) to try and secure Butters.
Armed with its future first-round pick (which ended up pick No.3), Melbourne made a last-ditch attempt to live trade up the draft to take Zak Butters. Port Adelaide, however, was locked in.
Inside how Port landed one of the AFL's most thrilling players⚡️ https://t.co/bpCVMSR7BW
— Callum Twomey (@CalTwomey) April 8, 2021
However, the Power were quick to shut down the request and ultimately selected Butters with their number 12 selection.
Butters was apart of a strong 2018 draft class that included the likes of Sam Walsh, Jack Lukosius, Izak Rankine, Bailey Smith and Power teammate Connor Rozee.
He had a fantastic yet injury-impacted draft season that included shoulder surgery, which cost Butters the second half of his campaign.
His limited showcase was still enough to impress club recruiters, and the question still remains of how high Butters could have been selected in the draft had he not been injured.
The 20-year-old had an impressive 2019 debut season, kicking 12 goals in his 19 games of the season, but it wasn't until 2020 where he really started to show what he was made of.
Zak Butters takes a beauty! #AAMISeries pic.twitter.com/yFTdi10nvR
— AFL (@AFL) March 7, 2021
The small-forward was thrusted into the midfield and proved that he had the creative and energetic traits to be successful in the new role, being a major part of Port's strong 2020 campaign.
As a result of the positional move, Butters finished fourth in the club's best and fairest and earned a spot in the 40-man All-Australian squad.
The young Power star has elevated his game again in the first three matches of the 2021 season and has been an integral part of the Power's strong start to the year.
Butters amassed 36 disposals and one goal against Essendon in Round 2 and showcased why the Power stood strong on their decision to draft him.
The failed move for the Demons may have impacted the club's decision to increase their position in the 2019 draft order, as Melbourne landed a trade with the Kangaroos to secure the 12th selection of the night.
The Demons exchanged first round selections with North Melbourne to land Kysaiah Pickett, a move that is already paying dividends given his electric start to this season.
Both Butters and Pickett have been key contributors to their respective clubs in a short period of time, showing just how different things could have been.