Both of the NBL's headline act teenage stars will sit out the next month after NZ Breakers guard RJ Hampton received an unwanted diagnosis on a hip injury.
Scans on Thursday confirmed Hampton's injury is worse than feared, leaving the 18-year-old needing four to six weeks of recovery time.
The update comes days after Illawarra Hawks star LaMelo Ball was ruled out for a similar period with a foot injury.
The pair are expected to be among the first picks at the 2020 NBA draft, having bypassed US college contracts in a bid to impress scouts of their ability in a professional league.
With the Hawks and Breakers occupying the bottom two rungs of the ladder, speculation has emerged that the pair may consider ending their NBL contracts early to preserve their wellbeing.
Neither club has commented on that prospect.
While Hampton's season statistics don't match Ball's he has been a solid performer in 12 appearances, averaging 9.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and just over one steal per game.
The Breakers (4-9) have struggled with injuries all season but thrived off the return of shooting guards Corey Webster and Scotty Hopson in last week's home win over Brisbane.