Detroit Pistons' coach Stan Van Gundy is one of the more vocal coaches out there in the NBA, constantly screaming on the sidelines to his players on the defensive end, much like coach Tom Thibodeau, and it seems that mindset carries over to Van Gundy's thinking when coming up with ideas to improve the NBA.
Van Gundy was asked how the NBA could improve the situation involving lowly teams tanking on purpose for high draft picks year after year to build a competitive young core, and his response was extremely interesting, via the Detroit Free Press:
“I’d get rid of it, just get rid of the draft altogether,” Van Gundy said. "We’d just deal with the salary cap. Make all (rookies) free agents coming in and if I want to go give a guy $50 million a year, good, but I got to do it under the cap."
It may seem insane on paper, but when you put some thought into it, it'd do a pretty good job to stop tanking.
Instead of having rookies being drafted to teams they may not want to play for, they'd be inserting into the free agent pool, where teams can bid on them exactly like the normal free agency period. The logic is that well-run teams would be first in line to snatch up the good players, as long as they had the cap space, leaving "tanking" teams no incentive to continually lose. The obvious downside is that large market teams such as Los Angeles, New York, and Boston would hoard all the best prospects every year, but Van Gundy has a rebuttal for that as well.
"They say everybody would want to go to L.A., well how much money are they going to give up to go to those places?"
"I think if you did that and you had no individual max on players, we’d start to get some parity in the league..."
Now, it's extremely unlikely that the league would ever implement something like this, as there are way too many kinks to be ironed out before it could become a reality, but it's good to know there are minds within the NBA that are willing to think of out-there ideas to help improve the league.