Melbourne made a pitch to out-of-contract star Kysaiah Pickett to re-sign, with the exciting small forward’s famous uncle Byron joining the Demons’ presentation.
Byron Pickett, the Norm Smith medallist who won flags at North Melbourne and Port Adelaide, finished his 204-game career at Melbourne and sources confirmed he joined the Demons last month in urging his nephew to recommit to the club.
The premiership star is expected to meet family during Gather Round in Adelaide and discuss his future. Sources close to the situation said the decision was not about money, with the financial terms offered by Melbourne not a stumbling block to the decision, as the 21-year-old weighed up where he wanted to live.
Kysaiah Pickett was all smiles after booting a goal.Credit:Getty Images
Pickett grew up in the Western Australia wheat belt town of Quairading and began boarding at Prince Alfred College in South Australia in year 11.
While he has links to both Perth and Adelaide he doesn’t have close family in either city, with relatives living in country areas including Karratha, in the Pilbara of northern WA, Ceduna, on the Eyre Peninsula, and Mount Barker near Albany in southern WA.
The two-match suspension for his bump on Bailey Smith complicated the discussion around his future, with Pickett frustrated at not playing and wanting to focus on training and getting back to competition.
Kysaiah Pickett faces a likely ban for his high bump on Bailey Smith.Credit:Fox Footy / Twitter
Pickett attracted interest from Port Adelaide at the end of last year but sources said he never entertained leaving the Demons then while in contract.
Other clubs outside Victoria will doubtless make approaches again if Pickett is to entertain leaving.
Previously The Age reported list managers at other clubs valuing the matchwinner at about $600,000 a season.
It is uncertain if the Demons’ contract offer to Pickett is in that vicinity, but it is believed Pickett is comfortable with the financial terms of the package and the support of the club. He has a very good relationship with Simon Goodwin and is close with Steven May and Christian Petracca, among others.
Kysaiah Pickett has a good relationship with coach Simon Goodwin. Credit:AFL Photos
Pickett lived early last year with Luke Jackson and Toby Bedford but moved out mid-year.
Constant speculation around Jackson’s future during 2022 was not considered productive, but the parties involved with Pickett consider his circumstances different to Jackson, who moved to Fremantle to be near family.
Kysaiah Pickett’s uncle Byron, pictured, won the Norm Smith Medal in 2004.Credit:Getty Images
Port Adelaide don’t have a first-round pick this year after using it to trade for Jason Horne-Francis, North Melbourne’s No.1 draft pick from 2021.
Adelaide also traded their 2023 first-round pick last year to secure Izak Rankine.
First-round picks are expected to be tightly held in this year’s draft as recruiters rate the 2023 draft very highly.
Melbourne officials are comfortable that Pickett, like any talented player, will have a number of suitors but are also comfortable that he is happy with how his career has developed at the club under Goodwin.
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