Player Name: Bryce Gibbs
Current Club: Carlton
Potential Clubs: Every year it seems Bryce Gibbs’ name comes up for a potential move back home to South Australia. This year the chatter has more substance, with Adelaide list manager Justin Reid announcing that the club has spoken to Gibbs’ management and the star on-baller is interested in a move home. This potentially opens the door for Port Adelaide also, as the only other SA-based club in a go-home scenario.
The Original Price: Gibbs was selected with the first overall selection in the 2006 National Draft.
The Good: Bryce Gibbs has, over the past three years, established himself as a gun midfielder. He spent much of the early part of his career on the outside and across half back – roles that he performed well in – but a move to inside, permanent midfield orchestrated by Mick Malthouse three years ago has been the making of him. His 2014 season was a breakout, where he won the Carlton best and fairest, while his 2016 year was just as good, where he added his sixth top-5 B&F placing. Gibbs is an elite kick, smart around stoppages and a good size for a modern midfielder. He makes good decisions with ball in hand and has added tackling to his game in the past three years, averaging well over 5 tackles per game in this time. He’s also performed extremely well when asked to play man on man, his Round 12, 2014 4-goal, shut-down job on Joel Selwood a highlight. Finally, Gibbs is durable, playing 209 games in his 10-year career, and 20+ matches in all but one (2015).
The Bad: As a midfielder, Bryce Gibbs isn’t particularly damaging forward of centre. He’s never been a consistent goal kicker, despite his ability to do so (see above), averaging just over half a goal per game over his career. His Inside 50 numbers are also on the lower side for a top-end midfielder, which could be partly due to Carlton struggling as a team for much of Gibbs’ career, and partly due to his tendency to set up behind the ball. His 2015 season was also a disaster – while he missed 12 matches due to injury, his form prior to getting hurt was deplorable. To his credit, he bounced back in a big way this year, but there’s always that concern hanging over Gibbs. He’s a prodigious talent but can look laconic on the field, making him a frequent source of frustration for supporters. He’s also 27 years old, and will be 28 as the 2017 season kicks off, so is older than much of this year’s Trade/FA crop.
What his club wants: Carlton want to hold Gibbs to his 5-year contract, signed at the end of 2014. Failing that, the Blues will want a top draft pick to compensate for one of the truly elite juniors that they actually nailed the selection of.
What he’s worth: Bryce Gibbs is an elite talent, who has justified his Pick 1 status but never quite delivered to the level that Blues’ fans might have hoped. In 10 years he’s been a quality player, and if he stays in the navy Blue he will likely become a 300-gamer, but he’s never been an All-Australian and may never be. He’s worth a mid-first-round draft selection, with his age hurting his value slightly compared to some of the younger talent on offer.
What we’d pay: Pick 11-15
Possible Trade Scenarios:
- Adelaide trades Pick 13 to Carlton for Bryce Gibbs
- Adelaide trades Pick 13 and Jarryd Lyons to Carlton for Bryce Gibbs and a 2017 second-round selection
The Verdict: Bryce Gibbs is exactly the sort of player that the Crows need – a mature, experienced body to help out Rory Sloane in the clinches. At a quality club like Adelaide Gibbs could be a star, and the icing that they need to chase their next premiership flag. With the Blues and Crows having traded heavily in the past, this is a deal that, if true, could quite easily get done. Expect the Crows to overpay a little (Gibbs for 13 and Lyons has been suggested) to land a quality midfielder while their forward line is still in its prime.
Star Rating: 4.5/5 – Bryce Gibbs is an elite talent and could shine in a quality team.