Adelaide completes messy Lever trade saga


Jake Lever has been granted his wish to join Melbourne after the AFL club agreed to send two first-round draft picks to Adelaide.

The Demons will receive star defender Lever, draft pick No.35 and a future third-round selection.

In exchange the Crows will receive Melbourne's No.10 draft pick and a selection in each of the first and fourth rounds in 2018.

The 21-year-old Lever informed Adelaide of his desire to return home to Victoria two days after their grand final defeat to Richmond.

"Jake has been a player we've targeted as a priority during this trade period and this is a great outcome for us," Demons football boss Josh Mahoney said.

OFFER SORTED: Rockcliff to join Port Adelaide

Lever's switch is complete. Pic: Getty

"Jake will have an immediate impact on our group, on-field as an important member of our defence, but also off the field with his professionalism and competitiveness."

Meanwhile, Greater Western Sydney have traded Devon Smith to Essendon.

The Giants have received the Bombers' pick No.11 in this year's draft and a future third-round selection while parting with pick No.24 and a future second-round pick.

Smith, 24, played 109 games at the Giants as a foundation player.

He is one of three Essendon targets this trade period, along with Gold Coast's Adam Saad and Jake Stringer of the Western Bulldogs.

Lever (left) fell out with teammates. Image: Getty

Earlier, Adelaide skipper Taylor Walker was criticised after he defended his blunt response to Jake Lever's request to be traded to Melbourne.

However well-intentioned, Walker's initial reaction to Lever's news was that the young defender had chosen money over success, which raised some eyebrows on Tuesday.

Three-time Geelong premiership player and Brownlow medallist Jimmy Bartel took aim at Walker over the comment.

"You haven't had success either," Bartel said on AFL Trade Radio.

"You've made a grand final -- that's it.

"Individually, you've been All-Australian ... and had some good years.

"But (the Crows) haven't had success. There is no guarantee either -- there is no guarantee in this game.

"Just because you've played in a grand final it doesn't mean you are going back and winning it next year."

Lever, who has been offered a lucrative four-year deal by the Demons, informed the Crows of his decision two days after their grand final defeat to Richmond.

Walker told Adelaide's Triple M he had a blunt conversation with Lever and made it clear he was disappointed with his decision to leave Adelaide after three seasons.

But the skipper denied reports he engaged in a heated argument when the 21-year-old called him the Monday after the grand final.

"I didn't have a crack at him," Walker said.

"But I was pretty honest because I don't like people leaving our footy club. I'm not going to agree with him.

"But I don't think I was arrogant or aggressive towards him. I was probably blunt.

"He said that he's decided to leave the footy club and I said 'Mate, if that's the decision you want to make ... we're two days out from losing a grand final and I think our footy club's going in the right direction'.

"I think it's pretty much him choosing money over success."

Walker is not a fan of the modern AFL landscape where players can move more easily between clubs.

But he conceded the Crows had done well on the flip side of the issue with grand final teammates Tom Lynch, Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins and Sam Jacobs all starting their careers elsewhere.

The skipper was complimentary of Lever's dedication to the Crows' cause since his debut in 2015 but queried the youngster's priorities.

Adelaide have begun trade talks with Melbourne and are sticking by their demand for two first-round draft picks for Lever.

More to come.