New teammates: Collingwood's Chris Dawes (left) battles Melbourne's Mitch Clark this year. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
CHRIS Dawes will play for Melbourne for the next four years after Collingwood and the Demons finalised terms to trade the forward for pick 20 and a swap of third-round draft picks.
The Magpies' premiership forward joins Melbourne on a $2 million, four-year deal in exchange for the Demons' picks 20 and 45 while Collingwood also gives back pick 58.
Collingwood has three first-round draft picks inside 21, prompting some at other clubs to speculate whether they intend to try to package two of the picks in exchange for Kurt Tippett. Despite the suspicion it is difficult to see how Collingwood could find the space in the salary cap for that deal.
It would appear more likely that having traded out Sharrod Wellingham and now Dawes, the Magpies will use the three first-round picks, having traded out of the draft in recent years.
The deal means that Collingwood has time ahead of Friday's free-agency deadline to ensure it has the cap space to secure Clinton Young, who is tossing up whether to remain at Hawthorn or accept an offer from the Magpies.
Other clubs that had made approaches to Young accept that Collingwood remains the only serious contender to prise him away from the Hawks.
Melbourne is understood to have initially approached Collingwood weeks ago, proposing a trade for Dawes for pick 13.
Dawes was squeezed out of Collingwood by the recruitment of Quentin Lynch to the role that he had played and so despite having two years to run on his contract became amenable to a move.
But when the Demons traded pick 13 as part of the Jesse Hogan deal last week it made the trade negotiation more difficult.
Melbourne coach Mark Neeld was an assistant at Collingwood when Dawes was a member of the 2010 premiership team.
The 24-year-old forward has played 71 matches for Collingwood.