I don't know how I missed this article which is almost a year and a half old, but I saw it today while reading a different article. After reading it, I tried thinking of what the NBA would be like. I recommend reading the article and then continue reading this.
From the article, my preference would simply be to have every rookie be a free agent. However, on top of this, I'd add a completely fixed cap. I don't know what the figure would be, but there'd be no going over it. Some teams might try to get around this, and some would succeed, by adding incentives such as buying cars, houses, women, etc. But say that the fixed cap was at $70M, and you're the Miami Heat sitting at $68M, unless Wiggins is willing to only take $2M, you won't be adding the best talent from this coming rookie class to your roster.
Now imagine what the NBA would have looked like if this was instituted in 2000 or before. Would LeBron have landed in Cleveland? Would Wade and LeBron started out on the same teams already? Would small market teams have a better shot than they do now to land superstar talent? What would this do to trades? How likely would players return to college? Or would they be allowed to return to college if they weren't picked up by a team? How would it affect the D-League? Would it really fix tanking?
There are some things that would need to be addressed in some sort of CBA agreement. Obviously, if there was a fixed cap, trades would need to allow for some flexibility of the cap, but only for that season. Say for instance you trade Player A who makes $7.5M for Player B who makes $6M. Also say that both teams were at their $70M max. My suggestion would be, and it would require the sign off of Player A, if the roster does not change the following year and they still have at least one year on their contract, the following year their salary is lowered to fit the cap. So in essence, every player has a no trade clause.
Also, with no draft, there'd be no draft picks to trade. Therefore, you wouldn't see what appears to be lopsided trades. LeBron James couldn't be traded to Cleveland for Andrew Bynum plus a first and second round draft pick. And seeing as how all players would be paid by market value, and since there'd be no reason to tank, trades would be done more carefully. There'd still be trades for expiring contracts, but there wouldn't be trades to lose cap that also raise the teams chance of tanking.
Honestly, I haven't really thought this out thoroughly. And I honestly don't care too. The second thing I thought after reading this article, is what would the brilliant members over at DBB think about this. How would they think it would change the NBA? Would they be for it, against it, or have their own version of it? I'm anxiously awaiting your thoughts.