BRISBANE - Brisbane are hoping to soften the pain of losing stars CJ Bruton, Sam Mackinnon and New Zealand international Dillon Boucher with the surprise re-signing of the Australian National Basketball League's (ANBL) best import Ebi Ere.
In a dramatic day for the club, Bruton notified coach Joey Wright and general manager Brian Kerle he was quitting to take up a lucrative European deal.
Mackinnon then further rocked the Bullets by asking for a release to return to Melbourne to play for either the Dragons or the current ANBL champion Tigers.
Boucher, who has decided he wants to remain with his family in Auckland instead of returning for another season with the Bullets, could continue his ANBL career with the New Zealand Breakers.
If Brisbane can retain Ere, who was expected to be targeted by rich overseas clubs following his stunning ANBL season, it would help them attract quality players to replace the likes of Bruton and Mackinnon.
Ere led the league in scoring last season, averaging 27.1 points per game, and was also in the top 10 in steals and three-point shooting, finishing second to Tigers big man Chris Anstey in MVP voting.
Kerle said while nothing was a sure bet, he was confident of re-signing Ere following their most recent telephone conversation.
"Unless there was some super duper offer, I'd like to think he'd stay," Kerle told AAP.
Kerle said talks with New Zealand forward/centre Craig Bradshaw were also "very positive".