Yes, what the OP says is true, but what's the alternative?
As a fan, I like to see the same players stick around, but that pre-supposes the team is competitive. And the simple reality is that the NBL works completely on free-agency, there are no drafts or development zones.
For last year, the Cats looked at what they needed, went out and hired Jawai, Prather (and Kenny) and won a ring. This year, despite coming off a 'ship, we have two new imports (and almost lost Prather.)
In effect every team goes out each season and looks to put the best team they can on the floor.
Have Sydney gone way over the top? Probably, but maybe they assumed a few other teams were going to push the boundaries in a similar manner.
There IS a chronic lack of transparency and accountability about the NBL's new system. At the moment it stinks. But you have to blame the NBL for that. Yes, I can't fathom how Sydney signed 4 Australian stars, PLUS 3 imports, within the rules and without incurring a MASSIVE penalty. And yes, I think it stinks, and should not have been allowed, and IMHO goes against the "spirit" of the new rules, BUT again blame the NBL.
These are the changes the NBL introduced, and its up to them to enforce them, and impose the appropriate penalty "tax".
Personally, I have severe doubts about the integrity of this new system, and I think allowing this stench to hang over the league is a bad move.
But at the end of the day, the NBL has put a system in place, the same for all teams, and to date all we really know for sure is that Sydney are making use of it.
The "advantage" that Perth have, is that they are NOW self-sustaining. So they have a budget and they try to work within that, but its still much higher than say a Cairns or Adelaide. Sydney NEEDED cash tipped in by their new owner, and where do you draw the line on that?
Should they purposely have only tipped in enough to be mildly competitive without being threatening????
Now don't get me wrong. Some people have their heads in the clouds with whole "oh people will come to watch their team get the shit kicked out of them by ex NBA players." There is simply no way this is of any direct benefit to any team but Sydney.
But why should it?
Sydney's owners are responsible for making their team as good as they possibly can, just as others have been doing.
And, I do come back to the point that for the NBL to get traction in Australia as a televised (or streamed) sport, it needs a strong following in our biggest city. So in that respect is does indirectly benefit other teams.