It is shaping up to be one of the biggest and most complex deals in business history. But unfortunately for the Gold Coast Suns, it involves the departure of one of their budding stars.
Foxfooty.com.au Report confirmed Herald Sun That Suns young gun Isaac Rankin has been offered a five-year, $4 million deal by the Adelaide Crows as he looks to return to South Australia.
He was initially thought to be close to re-signing with Gold Coast, who are offering a contract of around $650,000 per season and will not match Adelaide’s offer, with the report suggesting the 22-year-old is more likely to play at West Lake. Considering the amount offered in 2023.
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However, since Rankin is not a free agent, he would have to be acquired in a trade, setting up one of the most intriguing deals between the Suns and Ravens.
The No. 3 pick in the 2018 draft, Rankine showed promising signs early in his career before elevating his game into the tournament’s elite bracket in 2022.
Rankin has scored 27 goals in 16 games this season, averaging 13.6 goals against (both ranked above average overall by Champion Data) and 1.5 assists, which ranks fifth in the league.
Furthermore, his 2.9 forward 50 is first in the competition and his 10.6 AFL player rating is ninth (both elite). His 6.4 assists per game (elite) including three games in 2022 ranks fifth in the league with 11 assists.
And from the 8-15 round, Rankin was tied for 1st overall on the season, leading a forward and second in scoring assists.
“They’ve signed six of their top eight players in the last six months and they expected Isaac to sign … then it’s like a bit of a sign, it’s very difficult for Gold Coast,” Rice legend David King said. By SEN.
“Rankin will be a dominant player. He’s not even hit the ball and his ability to hit the scoreboard is second to none.”
The Suns’ face of the future and just 46 games into his AFL career, Rankine’s upside is formidable, and clearly only going to get better, so it’s not the end product, complicating his trade value.
So what’s in the deal now and what might it look like?
Adelaide currently holds 4 in the draft – pick 1 and could still go back pending where father-son draft pick Will Ashcroft ends up.
You’d think Adelaide’s first pick would be the starting point for any trade, but of course the Suns want more.
A second first-round pick from the Ravens feels like a letdown, especially considering he could be a top-five pick again or later. Will the Suns receive first? And Second round?
Looking at recent history, last year’s Adam Cerra trade is a fair comparison, as he was 22 years old, an early draft pick (No. 5) and still coming into his prime but not yet eligible for free agency.
Despite initially placing a huge price on Serra’s head, the Dockers eventually accepted Carlton’s pick 6 and a future third rounder – although Fremantle had other deals to do, including the acquisition of Jordan Clarke.
Before that, Jagger O’Meara moved from Sus to Houghton in late 2016, aged 22 and regarded as one of the best young talents in the game.
O’Meara, who joined Gold Coast in a special ‘mini draft’ at No 1 as part of his initial offer, cost the Hawks just pick 10 and a future second-rounder.
Then there was the return of mainstay Adam Treloar (2015), which saw the star midfielder move from GWS to Collingwood for picks 7, 65 and a future first-round pick.
Similar to O’Meara, Trellor was drafted by the Giants as an underage pick.
But what makes Rankin’s situation a bit unique is that he has a bona fide top-three pick (and an earlier pick in the 2018 draft than the likes of the King brothers, Connor Rosey and Bailey Smith) and the Suns have it. They’ve lost a lot of young talent over the years to increase tax rates.
And losing many young stars to rival clubs has seen Gold Coast fill early picks in recent years.
In the last two drafts, he went 5 (McAndrew) and 7 (Elijah Hollands), 1 and 2 in the 2019 draft (Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson) and 2 and 3 (Jack Lukosius and Rankin), respectively.
So do you really want the Suns or are you looking for more options? The club should be firmly on the agenda for next year’s finals after finally securing their place in 2022, still sitting 11th in the table with nine wins and on course for the best of the season.
Port Adelaide legend Ken Corns is yet to believe Rankin will be a “top lineman” but insists the Crows will have to give something up as they are not free agents – swap a package for Riley Tilthorpe or Josh Rachel. And Darcy Fogarty if draft picks don’t make the Suns happy.
“Adelaide will be hoping (pick 4) works out, but Rankin was pick 3 four years ago and is probably better than what you put at pick 4 in this year’s draft (pick 5 or 6), so that doesn’t work out,” he said on SN.
“They (the Suns) don’t want or need a draft pick … is it Rachel and Fogarty or something like that for Rankin?
Of course, the Crows could dig in their heels if they can’t meet Gold Coast’s demand and try to move Rankin to the pre-season draft.
This happened in the year In 2020, Jack Martin joined Carlton in the 2019 pre-season draft after the Blues and Suns failed to reach an agreement during the trade period.
King believes the Suns need to take a stand and be willing to walk for nothing if Rankine comes to him.
“I wonder what they’re going to say, ‘You know what, we’re not going to make this deal, we’re going to take a stand. We have enough first round picks, future picks, trade goods that we can trade if we want to go that route. Let’s dig our heels in and say if you want out, you can go to the draft,” he said.
“Why not? Does it really rock their boat (which they lost in vain)? ‘Should we draw a line in the sand?’ Because if you let this happen, it will continue.
“I think they will take a stand. I don’t think they’re going to say, ‘Yeah, don’t worry, what do you (Adelaide) want to throw? Don’t you think Rachel will be a top player? Okay, give us Rachel.’ This is of no value to them.