That opportunity is to claim picks one and two in the draft by allowing Matthew Kreuzer to find a new home via free agency.
The former number one draft pick has been in outstanding form since returning from injury half way through the year and with some clubs desperate for a quality ruckman, there’s no question that Kreuzer will have clubs ringing his phone.
This leaves Carlton with a dilemma. Do they let Kreuzer go, or do they keep him? Both options need to be weighed up extensively.
Exploring the latter first, Kreuzer is incredibly well liked at the club and considering all Carlton have been through this year, offloading players like Kreuzer could possibly lead to fracturing between management and the players.
To make it as clear as possible, this decision will ultimately made by list manager Stephen Silvagni. If given the choice, Kreuzer would probably stay at the club.
Kreuzer, though injury prone, is starting to play some consistently good footy and the natural chemistry he’s shown with Patrick Cripps over the last few months will only grow with more game time together.
Carlton’s ruck stocks aren’t great behind him either. Robert Warnock missed most of this season with injury, but hasn’t shown any ability beyond winning hit outs and Cameron Wood, while a decent battler, is not the man who you want having the mantra of number one ruckman at your club.
If Kreuzer goes, Carlton will have to have to invest in a young ruckman to replenish their stocks.
Looking at why Carlton should let Kreuzer go, it is simply weighing up pick two against Kreuzer.
Kreuzer, 26, will be approaching the end of his career by the time the Blues are even looking at finals, whereas an 18-year-old will be coming into his peak.
By the same token, Kreuzer will be able to find far more success in the remainder of his career elsewhere, which means leaving could be a win-win situation.
They only have to look back to what Melbourne did last year to see how beneficial this can be for all parties.
Melbourne gained pick three, allowing them to take Angus Brayshaw on top of Christian Petracca, and Hawthorn picked up James Frawley allowing him to have some success. All three parties would be happy with the exchange.
Whether it ends up being the Western Bulldogs, Richmond, or another top team, Kreuzer will end up with some success and as long as Carlton don’t go left-field with their pick, again, it should end up a win for all parties.
Looking at the argument that it leaves Carlton without a good ruckman on their list, Carlton will be hovering around the bottom of the ladder for a long time during this rebuild. While offloading Kreuzer will lead to some short term pain, the long term gain of picks one and two should tip the scales back in their favour.
Carlton will most likely take Jacob Weitering with pick one and then Josh Schache with pick two, two key position players that Carlton can build their side around.
The Blues desperately need young, elite talent on their list and they need to be looking at least five years in the future with their list management, trading Kreuzer now ticks both of those boxes.
With Kreuzer likely to be coming up on the end of his career by the time Carlton are approaching success and with the benefits of picking the best two players in the draft, the pro’s for letting Kreuzer go seem to outweigh the con’s.
Regardless, it will be a difficult decision for the Blues to make.