I grew up with the Bundesliga too and I don’t find it horrible. First of all: straight up cash deals instead trading for picks and players might actually be worthwhile. Nobody needs to abolish Free Agency or the CBA. But I think easier trading would actually improve a lot of teams. You are still held to some standards in terms of cap space but you could theoretically make some interesting deals.
One example would be the straight up cash for a player trade. Say Los Angeles wants George or Lebron and doesn’t necessarily want to empty the cupboard. As a big market franchise they could offer something more valuable to smaller teams: Cap Space. So say the NBA adopts that change how would it work? In my mind teams could trade up to a max contract in cap space for up to 5 years to another team. What that means is that for 5 years the team that is trading that cap space pays for the cap space they give another team. So George might net a two picks plus another 30 mio cap space for 5 years. That means they do not pay for those 30 mio, their cap space is at a 124 mio and they have that extra cap space for 5 years, meaning they could easily soak up dozens of bad contracts and get themselves some picks.
How would that be bad? Small teams could also improve by trading one of their corner stone guys for extra cap space and in turn get a true Allstar in FA (take the Blazers for example).