Sydney Kings coach Andrew Gaze will begin scouting the globe for a third import if his current roster doesn't show signs of becoming a genuine title contender in the opening rounds of the NBL season.
The Kings opened their season with a 105-96 defeat to Adelaide after a gruelling pre-season that included a practice match against NBA franchise Utah. The travel appeared to take its toll late in the clash against the 36ers, with Gaze admitting "there was a feeling of helplessness on the bench because you could sort of see us wilting a bit".
Sydney is again on the road, this time across the Tasman to take on the Breakers on Friday night before returning home for Sunday's clash against the Hawks.
Adelaide exposed Sydney's lack of size, although Gaze wants to give his squad more time to gel. But with a third import spot still available, the Kings could go to market if their current rotation doesn't improve defensively and on the boards.
"I really like our team and like our options," Gaze said.
"It's something that is in play, we go through and see how things are unfolding. Right now I like the balance of our team, I like the guys that are there. We've got some young guys there that will be great players and we need to make sure they are up to speed to give us a chance to do what our goals are this season and that is to make the play-offs and contend for a title.
"If the evidence is such that we will require different personnel, then we've got that flexibility to look at it. But we haven't spoken about any other player, we haven't got any on our radar."
The Kings, whose initial import spots have been taken by Perry Ellis and Travis Leslie, pulled off a coup this time last year with the signing of Lakers star Josh Powell. There are likely to be plenty of options when NBA teams cut players at the end of their pre-season, although the Kings hierarchy will give the current squad a chance to show its wares.
While the team was understandably outclassed, much was taken from the experience of taking on the Jazz.
"The biggest lesson I took out of it and I'm trying to convey to the players is the way Utah controlled the game on the defensive end," Gaze said.
"They were in the lanes, they were super-aggressive. They were pushing us out of our sets and did a really good job. When you've got their size and length, it's impressive.
"We want to try to apply those same principles to what we do defensively. We're a considerable way off but there are some good signs."