The Wellington Saints are confident of landing rehabilitated Breakers guard Corey Webster on their 2013 roster but the rebirth of the Auckland Pirates may have scuppered their pursuit of Lindsay Tait and Dillon Boucher.
The Saints have locked in coach Pero Cameron and Tall Blacks forward Casey Frank for next year's NBL, while locals Arthur Trousdell, Damien Ekenasio and Jordan Mills are also on the books.
Saints boss Nick Mills said nothing had been signed, but he was "pretty confident" the talented Webster would commit to the Saints.
He had helped the team to the 2011 championship.
Webster has served two bans for recreational drug use but Mills has always been a fan of the 23-year-old, who can play either guard spot.
"So that's a little bit exciting [to get Webster]," said Mills, who had talked with Breakers coach Andrej Lemanis about managing Webster's workloads.
The Saints had also hoped to swoop on Pirates pair Tait and Boucher when the defending champions withdrew from the league this month.
However, the Pirates have been welcomed back into the fold, under new ownership.
Mills expected Tait and Boucher to stay in their hometown.
"Auckland, I'm disappointed, personally, for the league, having the embarrassment of them pulling out one minute and then coming back in the next minute," Mills said. "It's not a good look for the league . . . but you've just got to go with it and be excited that we've got a team coming out of Auckland really."
Mills was also unsure whether Saints stalwart Troy McLean would be back for another season.
"I'm absolutely in no-man's land with him, because he told us at the end of the season he was retired," Mills said.
"But Pero talked to him and he said he'd been made a couple of offers from other teams. We're not going to get in a Dutch auction with someone that's been with us 15 years, so we're waiting to hear from him really. If he wants to play, we'd love to have him but if he wants to go elsewhere, that's up to him as well."
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