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Fran Blinebury

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In a perfect world, Kevin Garnett would hold off retirement to team up with Tim Duncan in San Antonio.
D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images

Fantasy scenarios for a selection of top free agents


Posted Jun 30 2012 10:31AM

Sometimes you just want to close your eyes and make the salary caps and the luxury tax and all of the other complicated machinations of modern pro sports disappear from the planet, if just for a couple of days.

Then we wouldn't have to worry about Bird Rights and 4 1/2 percent raises and how many max players general managers can fit on the head of a pin.

In our fantasy world, it would just be about the game and where it might be the most fun and the best fit for a handful of our favorite players to make their perfect landings:

Deron Williams

Height: 6-3
Weight: 210
Position: PG
Age: 28
Status: Unrestricted
21.0 ppg, 8.7 apg, 3.3 rpg

The Nets will offer the lure of starting fresh in Brooklyn with a shiny new arena and a deep-pocketed owner who says he'll do whatever it takes to make them a championship contender. If Williams goes to the Mavs, he's back at home playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki, who's got enough All-Star years left in him to put Dallas right back into the title mix.

But in a perfect world Williams finds his way to the Lakers, where he gets to ride with Kobe Bryant for a couple years and then makes the transition with either Andrew Bynum or -- could they pull it off? -- Dwight Howard for the next great era of the purple and gold.

Steve Nash

Height: 6-3
Weight: 178
Position: PG
Age: 38
Status: Unrestricted
12.5 ppg, 10.7 apg, 3.0 rpg

In a dream scenario, the Suns would make the necessary moves for an instant upgrade and make Nash's decision easy to just stay in Phoenix. The talk of going to Miami to solve the Heat's problems becomes less urgent after they won a championship with Mario Chalmers at the point. Then there's the matter of Miami not being fond of running the pick and roll and the Heat having a lineup where three players want/need the ball in their hands.

The spot that's custom-made is another kind of homecoming in Dallas, where Nash returns to team up with good buddy Dirk Nowitzki, an offensive combination that already proved it could work back in the days before Mark Cuban wrote him off as being too old.

Ray Allen

Height: 6-5
Weight: 205
Position: SG
Age: 36
Status: Unrestricted
14.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.4 apg

Despite the hiccup early in the Eastern Conference finals, Allen can still deliver a jump shot sweeter than a jar of honey. And that's why the Celtics will try to get him to sign on again for another sequel to "Grumpy Old Men" if Kevin Garnett chooses not to retire.

It was an inspiring run by the Green Machine through the playoffs. But can anyone really bank on the creaking Allen, K.G. and Paul Pierce to stay healthy for another full season and one more try?

The softer spot for Allen is as the designated shooter in Miami, where LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh carry the load and get him all the wide open 3-point looks that a guy can want.

Roy Hibbert

Height: 7-2
Weight: 278
Position: C
Age: 25
Status: Restricted
12.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.0 bpg

After finally making a move up with a breakthrough first-round win in the playoffs, can the Pacers afford to let their still up-and-down big man get away? Remember, this is our fantasy league here and the idea is to put Hibbert into a situation where he can continue the steady climb up the ladder to contender and help have an immediate impact.

The Mavericks knew that having a big man in the middle to guard the paint and block shots was critical when Tyson Chander roamed the middle for the 2011 championship. Hibbert would not be needed as much to contribute on offense in Dallas with Dirk Nowitzki and either Deron Williams or Steve Nash at the point.

Kevin Garnett

Height: 6-11
Weight: 237
Position: PF
Age: 36
Status: Unrestricted
15.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg

We save the best and the boldest for last. According to Celtics president Danny Ainge and everyone else with green blood running through their veins, Garnett's decision is simply whether to play one more year in Boston or retire. After all, it's where he became a champion and nailed down his undeniable Hall of Fame credentials. But we keep coming back to the overall age of the Celtics and whether they can climb over the now-confident Heat.

So if Garnett really wants to play and be part of a contender, he should remember the Alamo. Put him on the front line with Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs get their defensive swagger back. He's a team player who could fit in with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, would give Kevin Durant something to think about in OKC and be the kind of snarling scrapper that coach Gregg Popovich could embrace. A perfect finish.

Fran Blinebury has covered the NBA since 1977. You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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