Thursday, October 11, 2007

Did Carlton Get Fleeced In The Chris Judd Deal?

This week, Carlton traded picks 3 and 20 in the upcoming draft and young forward Josh Kennedy to West Coast for pick 46 and arguably the best football player in Australia, Chris Judd. So who got the better of the deal? Let’s consider the draft picks first:

This graph from shows the average number of games played by each number draft pick. Based on this graph, a No.3 draft pick would be expected to play 65-70 games (although I suspect that number has improved somewhat over the past few years), and a No.20 draft pick would be expected to play about 30 games. On average, a No.46 draft pick has played about 30 games as well, but since that number is inflated by David King’s 241 games, let’s say that around 20 games is about right. This gives West Coast a positive balance of 75-80 games so far.

So how many games would Chris Judd be expected to play? Let’s have a look at some players that are comparable in quality and position to Judd and see how many games they played in seasons after they turned 24 years old. Based on these players, we can probably expect Judd to play another 170-180 games, or about eight seasons worth of matches.

Games played in seasons after turning 24

James Hird – 165 games
Michael Voss – 161 games
Mark Ricciuto – 163 games
Nathan Buckley – 195 games

So then the question is how many games do we expect Josh Kennedy to play? A No.4 draft pick plays around 60 games on average, but that includes busts like Tim Walsh (who played 1 game before being delisted this year). Josh Kennedy has played 22 games by the age of 20, so we should look at other high draft picks that had similar starts to their career and see how many matches they ended up playing. The results might make some Carlton supporters choke on their cornflakes just a little bit:

Games played in seasons after turning 20

Jason McCartney -163 games
Nathan Chapman – 33 games
Justin Leppitsch – 202 games
Jeff White – 234 games*
Anthony Rocca – 177 games*
Shannon Grant – 222 games*
Scott Lucas – 211 games*
Michael Gardiner – 87 games*
Travis Johnstone – 118 games*
Brad Ottens – 131 games*
Trent Croad – 164 games*
Nic Fosdike – 150 games*
Josh Fraser – 114 games*
Paul Hasleby – 125 games*
Aaron Fiora – 109 games*
Matthew Pavlich -136 games*

*Denotes still playing. Only players drafted before 2000 and picked in top 4 included.

Given that almost all of the bottom half of the list could probably play at least another three seasons, it looks like Josh Kennedy has just as many games left in him as Chris Judd has, if not more. Of course it’s not the games that count, but the wins produced. Since the draft picks Carlton gave up are expected to play about 75-80 more games than the draft picks they received and Judd will probably play about another 170-180 games, we would expect that he is going to have to be about 40-50 per cent more valuable than Josh Kennedy and West Coast’s extra picks in this year’s draft to make up the difference.

Is that likely? Recall that for every game these players play, someone else doesn’t, so it depends upon how well they play relative to the average player. For example, say that if we could quantify footballing ability in monetary terms, an average player is worth $300,000. Now let’s assume Josh Kennedy and the No.3 draft pick are worth $400,000 a game, the No.20 draft pick is worth $350,000 a game, and the No.46 draft pick is worth $250,000 a game. Once you subtract each player’s worth from that of the average player, you get a net balance of $300,000 a game in West Coast’s favour. This means that, given that the West Coast players are expected to play more games, Chris Judd would have to be worth about $700-$750,000 a game for Carlton to break even. Carlton supporters probably think that’s likely… but if that groin goes again… of course, maybe I’m just bitter than he’s not playing for my team…


Brett said...

Going by these statistics, Sydney has given up two 23 yr old premiership players for a bloke with a life expectancy of 30 games. I'd back Roosy's judgement all day long but that seems to be a dud deal to me.

MsLaurie said...

You say that Judd would have to be worth $700,000 or so to Carlton for them to break even...

This may in fact be possible - consider the extra attention, translating into bums on seats at their games, increased sponsor interest and possible cashola, and Judd may have a dollar value for Carlton beyond his gameing ability.

Superstars attract dollars, and surely that is what Carlton is desperately in need of these days?

That said: Carlton blegh.

Troy Wheatley said...

I'm actually feeling quite good about trade week, as we picked up McMahon and Morton for draft picks worth about 50 games (on average).

I did think of adding a sentence or two about whether Judd would generate benefits to the Blues beyond his on-field performance. There has been work done into superstar 'externalities', but a) I reckon it would apply less to AFL where support is more 'tribal' and b) from memory, it tends to apply to the competition as a whole rather than the club. But I agree that Judd could make up the difference that way. I think that Carlton is one of the last clubs in need of dollars, but they strike me as one of the first clubs who would be happy with more...