Wouldn't the travel (a lot of trans-Atlantic flights) be BRUTAL on the European teams ?
If I ws a free agent, I'd have a strong preference to sign with a team in the western conference, just to lessen my time on airplanes.....
Exactly, which is why they would likely need to follow the NHL model and have 4 conferences. Ensure that the majority of the games are intra conference and there are equal amounts of play between the conferences. If you can ensure that half (say 40/80 games) are in Europe for conference play and of the remaining 40, 20 are home and 20 are away then it could be workable. Maybe you follow the NFL model and play conferences on a rotating basis. Something like Europe hosts the West and Central, while they go to Central and East, etc.
I actually put some thought into 4 Conferences like the NHL is leaning towards. Granted, it would be hard to have an NBA with 25% of its teams in Europe but I think it would work nicely with the current 30:
North: Boston, NY, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Toronto, Detroit, Cleveland
South: Washington, Charlotte, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, Memphis, New Orleans
Central: Indiana, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minnesota, OKC, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio
West: Denver, Utah, Phoenix, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Golden St, Portland, Seattle/Sacramento
The Central is really more like two 4-team clusters but I think in the grand scheme of things it looks pretty good and the travel would be reasonable for all 30 teams