A few simple, and SIMPLIFYING rule changes that would improve the experience of watching NBA.
The NBA lacks one major strategic element that other forms of basketball have: Truly effective, havoc-causing full court pressure by defenses.
It's real simple. Just decrease the 8-second count a mere 1 second per year until full-court pressure can cause REAL problems for NBA guards. At SOME count (6 seconds? 7 seconds?) you could see some actual danger in the backcourt. That added stategic element could bring a new dimension to pro ball. There's nothing wrong with a few more backcourt steals or interceptions leading to some interesting/sudden/random open-court situations.
The nba refs have to worry too much about "counts". The defensive 3-second rule is tricky, because it is based on how closely a defender is standing to an opposing player. That is very subjective. These counts have to be started, stopped, and started again. Refs should be allowed to focus more on foul-calling and ballhandling violations.
Simply eliminate the defensive 3-second rule and allow full-on zone defense. This frees refs to make higher-quality calls on fouls, etc.
Zone is boring!!
Zone caters to nonathletic shooters who can't do awesome dunks!!
Zone eliminates all of the great one-on-one matchups like Carmelo-vs.-LeBron!!
The thing is, the NBA has such great shooters, man-to-man will likely still be prevalent.
And secondly, if zone DID take over the game, thus allowing non-athletic shooters to thrive in the league and dampen the highlights.... you would simply balance it out with the "Solution 1" mentioned above. Trust me, a 5-second halfcourt count DOES NOT cater to nonathletic players. It caters to open-court athletes. It caters to guys who would make great Defensive Backs and Wide receivers in football.
It's all about giving the NBA a greater variety of "looks", "sets", and stategies.