Coach Anthony Stewart has put forward his credentials to attract the right home grown talent to the Tasmanian NBL venture, but already lines have been crossed through the names of early targets.
Chris Goulding had been considered the most optimistic of signings before the Melbourne United captain committed on Friday for the next three seasons.
But missing out US college star Tanner Krebs had caught Stewart completely off guard.
The Hobart native elected to secure a two-year deal at Brisbane, ensuring he will not be a part of the inaugural team's plans ahead of 2021-22 NBL campaign.
"I think any club would be naive to sign Tanner for a one-year deal, knowing Tasmania is going to be coming into the league," Stewart said.
"Tanner quite obviously gone and signed a two-year deal and I guess that is probably a little bit disappointing.
"But at the same time, I would welcome him back in a couple of years time."
The 24-year-old initially had returned to Tasmania briefly before the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic after building his game at NCAA heavyweight St Mary's College in California.
Stewart understood that the 198cm shooting guard was just keen to fulfill the best - and first - professional deal he could from the Bullets.
"I think you want to keep your pride intact, and I am sure he is going up to Brisbane to do his best and give them his best shot," he said.
The Tasmanian franchise is expected to recruit its staff, including head coach over the coming months.
The Burnie-raised Stewart wants to be in those conversations one way or another.
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"I won't be interested in the behind the scenes - I want to be putting my hand up for those coaching roles," he said. "Hopefully I can be successful in one of those and biding time to see where they will be announced."
After 489 NBL games with four clubs that includes debuting for the Hobart Tassie Devils in 1992, Stewart had returned years later to coach Hobart Chargers to the last SEABL title in 2018.
The 50-year-old last year also dipped his coaching toe across the Tasman in charge of New Zealand NBL club Southern Huskies.
Under his coaching reign, Stewart has already mentored NBL regulars Craig Moller, Harry Froling and enticed Jarrad Weeks this year.
"I can't do any more to be honest," Stewart said.
"Outside of just following the league, I know most of the coaches, I know a lot of the players and we've never had a problem recruiting here."
Stewart is insistent he is up to the NBL coaching level.
He was once offered a key coaching role with Cairns Taipans in 2009, but turned the offer down when the plan was return to Tasmania.
It makes his future plans abundantly clear.
"I played 17 years against those guys coaching and I actually followed [Perth coach] Trevor Gleeson around at the Blitz last year," he said.
"It gave me an opportunity to see what they were doing behind the scenes.
"To be honest, it's not that much different to some of what we do. Obviously, they have a lot more time to be able to do that full-time."
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