AFL premiers Melbourne have secured a sought-after first-round draft pick and shored up their midfield depth with the acquisition of St Kilda discard Luke Dunstan.
The Demons, who signed Dunstan as an unrestricted free agent, were involved in a four-way swap of draft selections late on Wednesday in a deal that could open up avenues for further player movement during the trade period, following a slow start this week.
The complicated deal also involved Adelaide, St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs.
It gave the Crows rights to Melbourne's future first-round pick, which shapes as a key factor in their plans to settle a stand-off with Sydney over skilful wingman Jordan Dawson, who wants to return home to South Australia.
The Bulldogs gave up their first-round selection (No.17 overall) to the Demons, who thrashed the Dogs in last month's grand final.
In return, the Bulldogs received enough picks to improve their draft value index points tally as they seek to match an expected early bid for father-son prospect Sam Darcy at November's national draft.
The Dogs will also likely gain more draft selections - and ultimately enough points to land Darcy - through deals to send fringe players Patrick Lipinski (Collingwood) and Lewis Young (Carlton) to rival clubs.
Wednesday's four-way deal may also have helped improve participating clubs' chances of securing Next Generation Academy prospects Mitchito Owens and Marcus Windhager, who are both tied to St Kilda, and Mac Andrew (Melbourne).
But possible top-10 selection Andrew would have to slide to the Demons at pick 17 because clubs are not allowed to match bids for NGA graduates inside the top-20 this year.
Elsewhere, Port Adelaide picked up GWS key forward Jeremy Finlayson in exchange for a future third-round draft pick and Geelong confirmed they are one of several clubs interested in recruiting former Richmond and Adelaide small forward Tyson Stengle.
Fremantle are still locked in negotiations with the Cats over contracted speedster Jordan Clark and want Carlton's No.6 draft pick as the cornerstone of the deal to send midfielder Adam Cerra to the Blues.
The Dockers are in talks with Gold Coast over contracted midfielder Will Brodie and reportedly have their sights on the Suns' pick 19, which could be passed to Geelong in the Clark deal.
Dunstan's arrival at Melbourne is designed to offset the loss of Nathan Jones and Aaron vandenBerg, replenishing depth in a flag-winning midfield group led by Christian Petracca, Clayton Oliver and Jack Viney.
Dunstan was a first-round draft pick in 2013 and played 116 games for St Kilda but fell out of favour under Brett Ratten.
The tough 26-year-old received 11 Brownlow Medal votes from his dozen games in 2021 and averaged 25 disposals per outing.
"We came into this trade period looking to re-stock the midfield area and Luke fits the bill perfectly," Melbourne list manager Tim Lamb said.
"We are really happy that Luke has chosen to make the move to our club.
"We think Luke's best football is ahead of him and just as importantly, Luke is a terrific cultural fit for our club."
WEDNESDAY'S FOUR-WAY DRAFT PICK EXCHANGE
In: 33, 75 and Melbourne's future first-round
Out: 23, 37, 44, 62, 66 and future fourth-round
In: 17, 37 and 49
Out: 33, 45 and future first-round
In: 62, 66 and Adelaide's future fourth-round
In: 23, 44 and 45
Out: 17 and 75