"So Stewart blames the league for all the issues, but then finally admits he hasn't even got his ducks in a row due to a communication breakdown with his co-bidder. I'd say the NBL dodged a bullet there"
At the risk of stating the obvious, what we have here is simply another consequence of the NBL choosing to favour the "Marvin" model over the "Neill" model.
To be fair, Neill's model of community based teams playing in smaller venues has some merit. If they abolish Marquee players and high-priced imports, then with lower budgets it would presumably be easier for more teams to compete. But the problem then becomes what to do with the Wildcats, Breakers, and other "major city" teams that start to hit the same heights? There's only so much knobbling that the Salary & Points Caps can achieve.
Whilst not always true, many previous teams withdrew form the NBL after successive seasons of getting pummelled.
Also, whilst more teams is generally better for TV rights, the profitable audiences ARE in the major cities. Besides, who wants to watch an Australian BBL league, knowing that our best players are all in Uzbekistan because the money is better?
Lastly, they are many costs (especially travel) that are independent. Can a "community" based team really afford road trips to Perth, Adelaide, FNQ, and NZ?
Whilst I would love to see more teams in the NBL, we have to accept that major city teams are the backbone.