The Illawarra Hawks have been plunged into voluntary administration again as owner Simon Stratford agreed to hand over the licence to the NBL.
A statement on Friday night from the league confirmed the Hawks would be headed for another legal process of administration in the prolonged fallout of Stratford's financial issues, as Wollongong businessman Tory Lavalle and prospective NBA No.1 draft pick LaMelo Ball attempted to take over the club.
"We will spend the coming weeks establishing a plan and a process to find the next owners of the club," the NBL statement said.
"Illawarra is one of the NBL's foundation clubs and we are committed to ensuring its long term viability and success in the League. We are in discussions with the Australian Basketball Players' Association and will address the issue of any outstanding player entitlements from the 2019-20 season."
Illawarra were placed in voluntary administration at the start of James Spenceley's reign in 2015, six years after the 'Save The Hawks' campaign in 2009.
On Friday, Lavalle, who has been major sponsor of the Hawks through his company Multi Civil and Rail, was in advanced negotiations with the NBL to take over the club.
Lavalle admitted a miscommunication between he and Jermaine Jackson led to Ball's manager declaring the Hawks ownership was a "done deal" to American sports media giant ESPN, after the Mercury broke the story on Thursday.
"We own the team," Jermaine Jackson told ESPN. "It's a done deal."
Lavalle moved to resolve the confusion over the ownership, releasing a personal statement on Friday afternoon.
"With a view to maintaining a NBL team in the Illawarra, to further the options available, LaMelo Ball and Jermaine Jackson have expressed their interest in forming a consortium to potentially take over the Hawks licence."
However, Lavalle did confirm the ESPN story was "due to how I communicated with Lamelo and Jermaine. There was a misunderstanding that an agreement had been reached. For this, I unreservedly apologise to LaMelo and Jermaine".
Lavalle has invested in the Wolves, setting the foundation for them to win the NSW NPL premiership last year under coach Luke Wilkshire, before claiming the national finals series crown, with an eye to eventually playing in the A-League.