The NBL can become the second-best basketball league in the world, according to former NBA star Andrew Bogut.
"I think it's already top five," said Bogut, who signed with the Sydney Kings last month after a decorated 13 seasons in the NBA.
"I think the Euro League is probably still a bit above the NBL, but that's only the top two or three teams from the big leagues in Europe and I think the NBL is right there in third."
Bogut made the prediction while observing the NBL's Next-Gen camp for aspiring players, which was held over two days in Melbourne.
The camp attracted 83 players, drawn from various second-tier domestic leagues, as well as Basketball Australia's Centre of Excellence and NBA Global Academy.
"These kind of events are very important to keep kids' dreams alive that are fringe athletes that have the chance to become professional athletes," he said.
NBL teams will have the opportunity to sign these players right up until the season start in October.
Bogut says the camp, now in its second year, is a sign of the league's new-found professionalism.
"At times it's been run poorly, at times it's had good years, but there's been no consistency. These types of events bring a consistency to the league that it can compete with the AFL, the NRL, cricket and those types of sports," he said.
The NBL says the camp is just one component of an aggressive strategy to become a recognised power in world basketball.
In March, NBL bosses announced a plan to target so-called "one-and-done" NBA prospects.
The NBA's eligibility rules require that a player must turn 19 before or during his draft year, or be one year out of high school. That has usually meant a season playing in the US college system (hence "one-and-done").
With that system coming under increased scrutiny, the NBL has offered to pay players $100,000 to spend that year playing a season in Australia.
"We want to position ourselves as the best alternative for one-and-done players that's available and the reaction to that has been very, very positive," NBL chief executive Jeremy Loeliger said.
"A lot of the guys who would be eligible for this program are only just finishing high school at the end of May and so we hope to see the wheels start turning now as they announce who their agents are going to be and then hopefully we'll start signing some contracts to get some of those really exciting young players here in Australia for the NBL season kicking off in October."
Bogut said it is an attractive option for players who are not allowed to be paid if they play in the American college system.
"I had to get a part-time job when I was an All-American in my sophomore year, I was working in a sports bar on Friday nights, Saturday nights just to be able to pay my rent, be able to eat … it's got a little bit better since then … but it's still pretty flawed," he said.