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AFL trade news: How Lever’s departure helps the Crows in the longer term

Jake Lever's trade to the Dees was the worst-kept secret, and his exit was ridiculously controversial. How will it help Adelaide in the long term?


Overview

Jake Lever’s trade request from Adelaide just a few days after being belted in Grand Final was met with plenty of speculation and doubts about the Adelaide Football Club. There were continuous floating rumours of Taylor Walker and Jake Lever’s absence from the Crows’ best and fairest. Eventually, a trade was sorted, Adelaide received Melbourne’s pick 10, a future first round pick and a future fourth round pick. Melbourne received Jake Lever, Adelaide’s second round pick and a future third round selection. 


Trade details and implications

This trade works out pretty well for both parties, Melbourne will get service from one of the best young intercept defenders in the comp for the next 10 years. Whilst Adelaide get a host of good selections in the draft. The Crows now possess an arsenal of draft picks, and with Cameron potentially going to Brisbane, the Crows could also gain pick 19. 

They might finally secure Bryce Gibbs after negotiations broke down in the previous trade period. It’s really up to the list management, but Adelaide could pick up a heap of local talent and continue their push towards a premiership with organic growth, or use their early picks to obtain Gibbs. The rumours circulating are that Carlton still see Gibbs as a required player and require two first round draft picks to let Gibbs go back to South Australia.


Who covers for Lever?

Lever’s departure will not hurt the Crows too much. He is a talented player, especially for his position, but the Crows are well-known for covering for lost talent. Throughout the season when Lever was missing from the side with injuries, Andy Otten easily covered for him. 

First year mature age rookie Alex Keath also got a crack at first team action whilst Kyle Hartigan and Jake Lever were injured. Keath is more than likely primed to fill in for Lever’s position over Otten, he has an extra 3cm, is deceptively quick and athletic for a 197cm key position player. 

Tom Doedee, whilst undersized at 189cm, could also fill the shoes of Jake Lever. Doedee spent the season in the SANFL, but was a consistent strong defensive cog in the Crows’ reserves team. He possesses the same traits as Lever. He is light on his feet, skillful and loves to spoil, but Doedee is 5cm shorter than Lever, definitely making Keath the likely replacement.


Who is the winner of this trade?

Melbourne may look to have won the trade, especially since they required Lever, but the advantage goes to the Crows. Giving up so many draft picks puts a dent in the Demons’ plans to continue churning out young talent. Adelaide head to the draft loaded with picks both in this year and next as they received Melbourne’s first rounder for next season. 

Whether the Crows use the draft to bring in young talent, or use them to acquire Gibbs (or someone else), it’s easy to see that in the long-term that this deal heavily favours Adelaide.


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AFL trade news: How Lever’s departure helps the Crows in the longer term

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