The NBL hopes to formally open up talks with the state government sometime this week for a Tasmanian team, already ruling out a debut for the start of next summer.
NBL executive chairman Larry Kestelman has already committed a 10th team to Tasmania, but he has been unable to plan the logistics.
The government has been accused of dragging its feet to the negotiation table, just as time for entry into the 2020-21 NBL season has run out.
Kestelman, who is willing to personally take ownership of the Tasmanian team, said nothing can move forward until the NBL gains a firm commitment from Premier Will Hodgman on detail.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
"We have had a number of positive discussions with the government previously," Kestelman said.
"While we would've liked to have finalised an agreement by Christmas, they have assured us they would like to do this by mid-January so we can start planning.
"As we've said, we need to have certainty as quickly as possible if we are to be able to deliver an NBL team for Tassie for a 2021-22 season.
"There is a lot to be done and we look forward to a speedy resolution."
The sticking points yet to be resolved as The Examiner understands include:
- Stadium arrangements; including any upgrades for the Silverdome and the number of games played;
- Possibility of playing other NBL home games in the state to fill the void ahead of a 2021 Tasmanian debut;
- A suitable name for the team complicated by AFL Tasmania branding of the Devils that was the state's NBL moniker in 1983-96.
The promise has come on the back of NBL Blitz preseason held in the state last September to test the waters.
Kestelman called the preseason fan engagement for games "the biggest and best".
Subscriptions are available here.
Sign up to our Sport email here.