The start of the WNBL season has been pushed back to November, but Lauren Jackson is doing everything she can to coax dominant centre Liz Cambage back.
The eight-team competition is starting six weeks later than last season, with the opening round of the 2020- 21 campaign scheduled for November 20-22.
The decision to delay the start of the season was made in alignment with the expected state and federal governments COVID-19 restrictions regarding return to play guidelines for elite sport and public movement between states and territories.
Officials expect to play at empty stadia up until Christmas, though that could change.
'There's flexibility there if things open up a lot sooner," said Jackson, Basketball Australia's head of women in basketball.
"If we are allowed to have crowds then obviously we would look to move the season forward if clubs agreed."
Many of the Opals are again expected to play in the WNBL in the lead-up to the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.
Jackson is hoping that contingent will include prolific pointscorer Cambage, whose last stint in the competition was with Melbourne Boomers in 2017-18.
"I've been texting her saying 'what can we do to get you back in the league?'"Jackson said.
"I know everybody here would love to have her back, she is just so important to basketball in this country."
Cambage has been linked to the Boomers crosstown rival Southside Flyers
"'I'd love that," Flyers' coach Cheryl Chambers told AAP.
Asked if there might be an imminent announcement about Cambage joining the club Chambers said "I wish there was but not at this stage, we're just waiting to see when free agency happens."
BA has yet to settle on a date for that period.
"We are taking the view that this current free agency period is going to be a bit of a scramble," said new Sydney University Flames owner Paul Smith, whose club has just two players currently contracted for next season.
Cambage apart, another Opal rumoured to be heading back to the WNBL is Sami Whitcomb, who starred for Perth in three seasons up to 2017-18 and is believed to be a good chance of returning to the Lynx.
Pushing the end of the season back to March could prove beneficial to the Australian team heading to the Olympics, according to Opals' assistant coach Chambers.
"Hopefully it will be easier to give them a bit of a break the athletes and then get it going pretty quickly again, rather than sometimes you have too much break,'" Chambers said.
Chemist Warehouse will again be the competition's major partner, while Jackson is looking to secure a new broadcast deal following the expiration of the last one with Fox Sports.
Australian Associated Press