Carlton's bombshell trade shows Silvagni and the Blues are backing the rebuild

It was the landmark moment for live pick trading the AFL was secretly hoping would happen. A move which would steal the headlines, spike interest and fuel discussion. And, of course, it just had to involve Carlton's Stephen Silvagni.

In the closing moments of Thursday night's first round, Carlton shipped its 2019 first round selection to Adelaide in exchange for pick 19 and Adelaide's 2019 first round pick. The Blues then used pick 19 on Liam Stocker, a hard-nosed stoppage specialist who won the Morrish Medal for the TAC Cup's best player.

On first glance, it looked like the Blues had given up a potential top three pick in 2019 for Stocker and a pick next year anywhere in the early to mid teens. Regardless of the long-term outcomes, it's fair to say Adelaide would be satisfied with such a trade. But Carlton fans shouldn't be too worried.

The Blues' list boss was one of just a handful of list managers who had flown to the United States to observe live trading in action before the AFL announced it would be introduced in 2018's edition of the draft. One of the others was then-Freo list manager Brad Lloyd, who now also plies his trade at Princes Park.

In speaking with the media following the move, Silvagni explained it wasn't a knee-jerk reaction or a brazen gamble. He said Carlton rated Stocker as a top-10 talent on their draft board, and that the Blues had been in contact with Adelaide (among other clubs) as many as four days prior to draft night.

And to judge the outcome of the fascinating trade by the end of 2019 season would be silly in itself.

To say that Adelaide will have won the trade should the Blues again finish somewhere near the bottom four would be a premature assessment, and while Crows fans should absolutely feel satisfied, there's no reason why the trade won't end up as one which is mutually beneficial.

Ultimately, Carlton has taken the risk to bring in two more quality midfielders in an ever growing "young" age range.

In 2015 -- which was the first draft year under current coach Brendon Bolton -- the Blues went with tall timber, selecting Jacob Weitering, Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow, all the while targeting other talls Caleb Marchbank (from the 2014 draft) and Lachie Plowman (2012) at the trade table.

It's a widely accepted notion that key position players take longer to develop, so Carlton's choice to target the key pillars in the first year of their reset was a smart, calculated move.

But since 2016, the draft board has been dominated by midfielders who have been able to make almost immediate impact in Carlton's starting 22: Sam Petrevski-Seton, Zac Fisher, Paddy Dow, Lochie O'Brien and Co. were read out at the previous two drafts, and now it's Sam Walsh and Stocker who join a young crop which falls neatly into the 18-21 age bracket. They will likely play out the next decade of football together at Princes Park.

To consolidate a core group of talent with two first-round picks is a smart, practical move by the Blues.

Of course Thursday night's pick swap brings with it some risk, but would it be a disaster if Carlton end up shifting pick 2 or 3 in next year's draft to the Crows for Stocker and pick, say, 12? Perhaps in the short term there would be grumblings about how the gamble failed.

But to know the true value of Carlton's calculated risk would be to look into a crystal ball and gaze at what the Blues' on-field performances look like in five or so years, when Stocker and Walsh may be 100-game players, when Carlton's core of then-mature talls have played nearly 200 games and when Dow, Fisher and Petrevski-Seton are in their prime.

The move is not so much about how highly the Blues rated Stocker -- despite Silvagni claiming he was a top-10 name on the Blues' draft board -- it's a move which shows Carlton are willing to back the players brought in over the past four drafts to take them up the ladder.

If Carlton needs to walk into the draft room in 2019 depending on yet another early first-round pick, then fans and coaches should be worried.

The Blues, at this late stage of the list reset but early stage of the list development, should be content with a pick in the early-to-mid teens next year to supplement a list which is quietly filling with talent.