Hawthorn recruiting boss Mark McKenzie has defended the way in which the club dealt with a trade for small forward Luke Breust, despite admitting they did have talks with the Giants over how a potential deal.
The Hawks had publicly said they would consider all offers for senior players as they look to rebuild through the draft under new coach Sam Mitchell.
The Giants made a late play for Breust during the last 36 hours of the AFL Trade Period as a potential replacement for Bobby Hill, who requested a trade to Essendon.
While the Hill deal fell through, a trade between Hawthorn and GWS for Breust was done, according to reports, pending Breust’s approval.
However, he insisted on staying at the club.
McKenzie said the Hawks had been “open and honest” in all conversations with players around a potential trade.
“We were pretty upfront with all our players that if anything came up that needed a chat we’d be open to the conversations with the player and the clubs,” he told AFL Trade Radio.
“Luke wasn’t the only one overall that was talked about as contracted players at our club.
“We were pretty open with our players all along that if there was anything significant that we think they should know, if there are any approaches from clubs, that we’d be open and honest and have those conversations.
“It happened pretty quick … but I think overall with those players the commitment to the footy club is there and the commitment from us as a footy club is there as well.”
Despite the Giants also hinting a deal was done, McKenzie insists it wasn't completed.
“I don’t think it actually got to that point at all,” he said.
“It was GWS approaching the management and from there we have initial chats on if there was anything significant.
“In any of these deals you go forward, but the main part about this is the player.
“We’re going to be open and honest, if there are any approaches from there that we have an open chat and get (the player’s view) but really it doesn’t go down to any of those details.
“It’s the approach from other footy clubs, if they’re significant we’ll have open conversations with the other clubs and players as well.”
However, the Hawks recruiting manager admitted the club had discussed the deal with GWS before Breust said no to the trade.
“There had obviously been some talk about the actionable trade and what it would look like in regards to picks,” McKenzie said.
“There was still a lot to play out because you need to show the respect to the players to approach there and have the open conversations with them.
“But there definitely was talks about the picks, but everything hadn’t been sorted definitely by the end of it.
Despite trying to entice clubs, the Hawks didn't lose any big-name senior players.
They’ll take picks 5, 21, 24, 59, 65 and 81 to the AFL National Draft in late November.