North Melbourne great David King says his beloved former club made a big mistake by coughing up top pick and last year's No.1 selection Jason Horne-Francis, in in one of the most complicated trade deals in AFL history.
Horne-Francis landed at Port Adelaide and GWS got their hands on the No.1 draft pick after a convoluted process that involved four different clubs.
The Giants traded out picks three and 12 to shuffle up the draft order, while the Kangaroos received picks two and three in return for their pick ones.
The Roos also secured a future first-round choice that is tied to Port Adelaide, but become the first club since Fremantle in 2001 to trade away pick one.
The Power received small forward Junior Rioli from West Coast, who also traded out pick two and get picks eight and 12 back.
A raft of later draft picks have also changed hands in the mega deal, which was ticked off by league officials late on Monday.
King - who won two premierships during his time at North Melbourne - says the club squandered a golden opportunity to secure young forward Aaron Cadman, who GWS look set to target with their number one draft pick.
“I’m extremely frustrated by this,” King said on Fox Sports' Trading Day.
“I just don’t know at what stage North Melbourne will decide to invest in a tall forward of note.
“There’s one sitting there (Cadman) – you hold the pick that will secure this guy for a decade. They overlooked (Swan) Logan McDonald a few years ago and everyone said: ‘OK, you’ve gone for (midfielder Will) Phillips and we’ll wait and see’. And I understand that.
“When do you start straightening up your spine? The midfield is an easy discussion. They’ll get two good midfielders but so will everyone else.
He says the fact GWS were so keen to shore up their pick to get Cadman should set off alarm bells at North Melbourne.
“When you see what GWS have done to get up the board to get this guy, country Victorian kid, he’s an hour down the road – like this is perfect for them.
“Clearly they don’t rate him as high as everyone else does. And that’s OK. Time will tell. But it’s a big gamble for a football club where not much has gone right in the last three or four years.”
King says the massive fee Geelong had to pay for Jeremy Cameron is a warning to clubs who fail to invest in developing their own tall forwards.
In a telling assessment of the trade deal, the Roos great says his former club was "dudded" and warns that it deepens the "crisis" they find themselves in.
“The joint’s in crisis and has been for some time,” King said.
“Have a look at if you don’t draft your own power forward.
“It’s a two to three-year investment somewhere down the track...I just don’t know at what stage North Melbourne will decide to invest in a tall forward of note.
“They’ve been dudded. It just puts a full stop on an awful period.”
Jason Horne-Francis returning to South Australia
South Australian product Horne-Francis signed a deal tying him to Port Adelaide until the end of 2028, joining the midfield unit alongside Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines, Zak Butters and Connor Rozee.
"Jason is a highly talented player who we know will complement our developing and exciting midfield group," Port Adelaide list manager Jason Cripps said.
"He is competitive and aggressive, and we like his power and explosiveness as well as his ability to go forward and hit the scoreboard."
Rioli, who starred in West Coast's 2018 premiership side, has inked a four-year deal with Port Adelaide.
Separate deals on Monday resulted in premiership ruckman Luke Jackson moving from Melbourne to Fremantle and prized forward Izak Rankine joining Adelaide from Gold Coast.
The Crows sent pick No.5, a future third and future fourth-round selection to the Suns for South Australian forward Rankine, pick No.46 and a future fourth-round selection.
In exchange for West Australian talent Jackson, plus picks 44 and 67, the Dockers coughed up pick 13 plus their future first and second-round selections.
Melbourne had originally received pick 44 from GWS in a swap for small forward Toby Bedford.
Jackson, the No.3 pick in 2019, requested a long-expected trade home to Western Australia last month after 52 games for the Demons.
Melbourne will now move on to securing Collingwood's two-time All-Australian Brodie Grundy as Jackson's replacement.
Essendon landed Carlton on-baller Will Setterfield on Monday afternoon, sending the Blues a future fourth-round pick in exchange for the big-bodied midfielder and pick No.68.
Fringe Melbourne forward Sam Weideman is reportedly poised for a fresh start at Essendon under new coach Brad Scott, likely moving for a future third-round pick.
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