The exciting key forward is certain to land at Whitten Oval, with the Dogs able to match any bids from rival clubs.
It only remains to be seen how many points they will need to match a bid and secure Ugle-Hagan – an Indigenous talent who has been likened to Sydney superstar Lance Franklin.
Adelaide hold the coveted first draft pick after finishing bottom of the ladder in 2020.
“We’ll pick the best player we believe that’s in the draft,” Nicks told SEN on Wednesday.
“If that’s Ugle-Hagan – because he is a super-talented footballer – then that’s where I guess a bid will come on him because we believe he should be No.1 in the draft.
“We’re not going to go out of our way to pick a young kid who’s not that and risk not getting the best player in the draft.”
Pressed further on the prospect of an Adelaide bid for Ugle-Hagan, Nicks said: “I don’t want to give too much away, but he’s extremely good.”
The Bulldogs on Tuesday executed a trade of draft picks with Greater Western Sydney, sending pick 26 to the Giants in exchange for picks 29 and 52.
It gave them more points with which to match an Adelaide bid at pick one.
The Crows’ top selection will slide to No.2 overall if, or when, the Bulldogs match their Ugle-Hagan bid.
Adelaide could then opt for athletic South Australian ruck-forward Riley Thilthorpe if they choose to draft locally.
Vic Country midfielder Elijah Hollands and West Australian tall forward Logan McDonald are also considered likely top-five picks.
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