Basketball: Steven Adams outside chance to play for Tall Blacks at World Cup

The Tall Blacks will take 12 players to August's basketball World Cup - and NBA star Steven Adams hasn't ruled himself out yet.

Coach Paul Henare has a lot to ponder over the next three months.

Not only is he trying to win a national championship with the Wellington Saints, but he has to select his national squad for this year's World Cup.

"We've got about 40 players on our long list right now," Henare told Newshub.

"We've gotta somehow find a way to get down to 12, which is a challenge within itself, but it's a good challenge to have."

If available, Steven Adams is sure to be part of that 12.

And while Henare's in constant contact, he's set to speak with him again, now the Kiwis NBA season is over.

"You like to leave it until he's done and dusted, and we'll approach that when it happens."

Adams remains open to the possibility of playing for the Tall Blacks.

Recently, the 25-year-old told ESPN that he would love to play for New Zealand.

"One of the biggest goals is to beat Australia, to be honest with you, mate - because we always lose," Adams told ESPN.

If results go New Zealand's way in China, they could play the Boomers in the quarterfinals.

"Any chance that we have to have him on the team would be great, but you know, as a Tall Black, you just make do with what you have," said Tall Blacks centre Rob Loe.

Adams is one of only a handful of overseas-based Kiwis in the mix, with most of the wider squad playing in this year's NZ NBL.

"This is probably the best I've seen the league in forever," said Loe.

The league finishes two weeks before World Cup preparations begin, so while it might be local-based players' last shot to impress Henare, Adams' chance will be over the phone in the coming weeks.