Much of this is taken from Bill Simmons but with a few of my own adjustments.
1. No more East meets West in the finals. It works in baseball with AL/NL b/c of style of play differences. It works in the NFL, the league with the most parity and roster turnover, as well. Not in the NBA.
2. Teams are seeded by record 1-16. At the end of the season the teams with the 12 best records are locked into seeds 1-12.
3. The next 16 teams play an NCAA style tournament to determine seeds 13-16. After the last day of the regular season there is a day off, then they have 4 rounds. The first game is at the higher 8 seeds home court to help the clubs w better reg season records. After an off day they play 3 straight at Madison Square Garden.
4. This also gives the 12 teams with a legit shot extra rest. Let's face it, the worst 4 teams in the playoffs are not winning titles. They are there for experience and so the owners get some $ from an extra 1-3 games.
5. The first rd of the playoffs starts after a day off after the tourny and reverts back to a 5 game series. Seeds 1-4 playing the 4 teams that just placed top 4 in the tournament have a 2-1-2 playoff format to reward them for their regular season and protect them after a week of rust/rest from running into a team hot off the MSG tourny. The 5-12 seeds play a 2-2-1 format like in the old days.
6. The teams with the two WORST records CANNOT win the lottery, are automatically slotted into picks 4 and 5, and have to sit out what Bill Simmons calls the 'Entertaining as H--- Tournament'. Who wants to tank for that?
7. The 12 teams that do not place in the Final Four of the tournament have lotto odds for the top 3 picks that are more like the pre-'92-'93 Magic winning in back to back years odds. Like 20%-17%-14%-12%-10%- 8%-6%-4%-3%-2%-1.5%-1-% something like that.
No more tanking, no more weak conference/strong conference situations, a greater chance of the 4 teams that win 57-63 games every year being the final 4 standing (and likely 3 would be from the west using today's NBA as an example) AND at the expense of the 3-4 series in rd 1 that go 6-7 games each year (say 8-10 games max gained from expanding rd 1 from best of 5 to best of 7) the league/fans get 15 games featuring 16 teams instead all in NYC for a 3-day weekend.
This would totally solve two problems the NBA in my opinion.