Lemanis OK with import-free NBL

Murray Wenzel
Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis is comfortable with the NBL playing out without imports this season

Brisbane Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis says a worst-case scenario of an import-free NBL season could prove productive for Australian basketball.

The former Boomers coach isn't rushing to build a roster ahead of a delayed 2020/21 season thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, which at this stage could start in November and will feature a reduction from three to two imports per team.

Varying levels of pay cuts will also be in play, while government clearances on international travel are another grey area as teams shop for international talent.

The WNBL has already ruled out imports for their season and Lemanis borrowed a line from the women's equivalent on Tuesday, arguing that an import-free NBL could have local benefits.

"As the previous Australian coach I wouldn't mind a season of it," he said.

"I think it would showcase how good Australian basketball is and how talented players are in this part of the world and perhaps open the eyes of a couple of people.

"From the Bullets perspective I'd be really excited going into the season like that, we're really well positioned if it's an Australia and New Zealand-only league.

"For a one-year experiment I think it'd be pretty cool actually."

The Bullets boast World Cup Boomers Cameron Gliddon and Nathan Sobey as well as fellow domestic standouts Will Magnay, Jason Cadee and Matt Hodgson.

But key import Lamar Patterson has led the way in the last two years and Lemanis would love to lure him back if circumstances allow.

"Great person, great player - would I love to have him? Absolutely," Lemanis said.

"But (with uncertainty around pay, travel and schedulings) it's always a case of fit for both parties, so we have to let that process play out."

The Bullets on Wednesday welcomed construction company Rork Projects as the club's biggest individual sponsorship partner since their NBL reintroduction in 2016.

Lemanis said their support was reassuring during "uncertain and chaotic times" and that it would help the club further connect with their returning fans.

"(Last season) you could feel the pride from the people in the stands ... they started to recognise that what they did was making a difference for the team and they were proud of how we played," he said.