Player Name: Hamish Hartlett
Potential Club: A number of clubs have been linked to Hartlett, but there’s nothing concrete. Adelaide could be in the mix if he is to move on but stay based in SA, while a move to Melbourne would open up a raft of suitors, including the Bombers who seem ultra keen to improve their midfield stocks and who have currency to burn. Hartlett is perhaps unlike many other players potentially on the move this October, as it’s the Power, not Hartlett himself, that has put a trade on the table. The club therefore has more power than usual to either accept a deal to their liking, or keep Hartlett to the remainder of his 5-year contract signed last year.
The Original Price: Hartlett was drafted by Port Adelaide at Pick 4 overall at the 2008 National Draft.
The Good: Hartlett is a game-breaker, a match-winner of elite quality. His toughness at the contest and skills make him capable of turning a match on its head. He’s capable of splitting time between midfield and half-back, he still has 4 years to run on his current contract with the Power and is their Vice-Captain. As recently as 12 months ago Hartlett was the 30th-best player per the AFL Player Ratings, and ranked 18 overall among midfielders.
The Bad: Hartlett’s value has dropped significantly in the past 12 months. The AFL Player Ratings now have him ranked 120 overall, and 58 among midfielders. He had an indifferent 2016 campaign, playing just 15 games and falling away in almost every statistical facet of the game. He’s long had consistency and durability issues, missing games in all but one of his eight seasons with the Power, and can be an unknown quantity on a week to week basis. The fact that he’s been put up as trade bait is also a little concerning, despite the Power indicating that they simply see value in him and want to cash in while that’s still reasonably high.
What his club wants: There has been plenty of chatter around Port Adelaide getting involved with Richmond’s pick 6 in a three-way trade for Gold Coast, but that’s overs for someone with Hartlett’s track record. The club clearly wants to bolster their first-round draft pick stocks – a trade for less than that and they’d simply walk away – but exactly what they’d settle for is unclear. If they really want to move him than they’ve already dropped his value by showing their hand.
What he’s worth: Significantly less than 12 months ago. At the end of 2015, when Hartlett turned his back on hefty interstate offers and re-signed for 5 years with the Power, he did so on the back of a brilliant three-year stretch where he’d improved out of sight and looked to have remove those elements of inconsistency and poor durability from his game. 2016 proved that those are still very present factors, so much of the doubt that existed around Hartlett in the early part of his career is back. Yes he’s an elite talent, but talent doesn’t perform every week and doesn’t perform at all if it’s in the medical room.
What we’d pay: Hartlett is worth a first-round draft selection, but at the back end of the first round. He’s 26 and has a lengthy injury history. He’s good for between 15-20 games per season, of which he could go unsighted in a quarter. But he’ll probably win the club more off his own boot with his trademark determination, courage and skill.
Possible Trade Scenarios:
- Adelaide trades pick 13 to Port Adelaide for Hamish Hartlett and a third-round selection (current or future)
- Richmond trades Pick 6 to Port Adelaide; Gold Coast trades Dion Prestia and pick 27 to Richmond; Port Adelaide trades Hamish Hartlett and their 2017 second-round selection to Gold Coast.
- Essendon trades pick 19 to Port Adelaide for Hamish Hartlett
Verdict: If Hamish Hartlett moves clubs this off-season it could well be part of a three-way trade, but Port are going to have to give up more than just the classy on-baller/half-back to get another pick in the top 10 of the draft.
Star Rating: 4/5
Elite talent, with consistency and durability concerns that his current club seems happy to sell. Something isn’t quite right here, and his value takes a small hit accordingly.