Four-time premiership Hawk Jordan Lewis believes his old club should facilitate trades for their senior players if they request them.
It comes on the back of the shock news that Alastair Clarkson will depart Hawthorn at the end of 2022, with Sam Mitchell taking the reins a year earlier than anticipated.
While Lewis doesn’t believe the Hawks should actively seek to trade their top players for draft picks as part of their review, he feels they owe it to the club’s veterans to find them a new home if they want one.
“I think the conversation would happen with the players. I think the conversation would go along the lines of ‘we brought you in promising one thing and it hasn’t happened. There’s been a lot of change that’s happened since’,” Lewis told AFL Nation.
“’If you want to explore your options and go elsewhere, we will try our hardest to facilitate those deals’.
“That is on the club to do that. If players are unhappy about the situation that has unfolded and they want out … I don’t think the club can be proactive. I don’t think they’re in a position to be proactive.
“I think they owe it to the players to see what they want and if they want out then they’ve got to listen to those players.”
Lewis wouldn’t be making a move on the club’s top players – Tom Mitchell, Jaeger O’Meara or Luke Breust – unless a first-round pick was on the table.
“Tom Mitchell, Jaeger O’Meara … I’m not trading any of those players out for a second round draft pick,” he said.
“(Jack Gunston and Luke Breust) if they saw fit to want to leave the football club, Gunston I think because of the back injury, I don’t think he’d demand a first-round pick, Breust I think certainly would.
“Those players are well within their rights to have conversations with Sam Mitchell and list management to understand where they want to be.”
Clarkson will coach out the remainder of the 2021 season, with Mitchell to lead the Hawks through the off-season and beyond.