If Carlton has some work ahead to land their main targets of Papley and Martin, the negotiations with Adelaide over Eddie Betts have progressed well.
Given that Betts is 32 and would be traded for only a late draft pick, the only issue is Carlton’s capacity to pay his 2020 contract – which is close to $600,000 – and the Blues have indicated that the Crows would need to pick up some of that.
The Suns met with Geelong ruckman Zac Smith yesterday, as Smith considers a move back to his first AFL club after joining the Cats following the 2015 season in a trade.
Smith, who was out of favour in the past season at Geelong, would be the back-up option behind skipper Jarrod Witts if he went back to the Suns.
Betts would likely get a two-year arrangement with Carlton, in which he would play next year and potentially in 2021, with the Blues seeing him as a long-term staffer once he has retired.
Papley has been speculated as a potential influencer of a Joe Daniher trade, since the Swans have the option of using the compensation from Papley and passing some or all of it on to the Bombers, who are playing hard ball in their negotiations over Daniher. Sydney is expected to offer pick five for Daniher, but it is unclear what else would be required since the Dons feel they need to find a player who can replace their talented key forward in their structure.
Meanwhile, St Kilda will continue to attempt to persuade Gold Coast’s Ben King to join them and reunite him with his twin brother Max. The Saints have been open in their wish to lure Ben King away from Gold Coast if he decides not to extend when his contract expires next season.
“That’s a pretty clear-cut one – Ben is playing at Gold Coast next year, and if he doesn’t sign and looks to move next year we’ll talk to him,” Saints football manager Simon Lethlean told AFL Trade Radio. “We look forward to seeing if Max is faster than he is because he reckons he is.”
There is no indication, though, that King will leave the Suns at the end of 2020 when his first contract runs out.