At least that’s the thought process behind a hard cap.
When the hard cap idea is thrown around it is often backed up with the idea of fairness. Every team deserves an equal chance to win! Here’s an important follow up to that: why? When we’re told every team deserves a chance to win it is supposed to be for the benefit of the fans. In that regard not every team is equal. New York has a population of nineteen million people, and even counting New Jersey as a New York team, that means that’s almost ten million fans a team.
Compare that with Utah that has only 2.7 million people. Why is it that the 2.7 million Utah residents should get a team with the same bankroll as a team in New York that could be representing 10-20 million people? Doing this in essence states that the fans in Utah are worth more than the fans in New York.
In fact if the NBA was interested in the benefit of the fans it would move teams to more populated areas. New York only has one team despite being the third most populated state. California and Texas could support even more teams! While doing this might be unfair to some states, who cares? A state isn’t a living breathing entity like a fan. If the NBA were concerned with pleasing more fans it would not move teams out of higher populated areas to less populated areas, which is what happened when they moved the Hornets from Charlotte to New Orleans and the Sonics from Seattle to Oklahoma city.
The truth is that NBA owners are greedy. They put teams in cities that will pay for stadiums, and they get them to do it with lies about how the stadium will help the local economy. They are in favor of things like the hard cap because they restrict worker wages. The owners are not concerned with fairness, at least not for the players or for the fans. It is a convenient line to use.
Be aware when the NBA claims it wants all teams to be equal it is saying that fans in larger markets are less valuable. And that means New York fans are the most worthless.
State population data courtesy of Wikipedia