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WHAT IF? ... THESE FOUR ENTIRELY REALISTIC TRADES HAD GONE DOWN?

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ALTERNATE UNIVERSE David Stern approves proposed three-team trade (LAL-HOU-NOH) landing Chris Paul with Lakers. NEW ENDING CP3 helps Kobe find triumphant final act; Rockets lack assets to land James Harden; Hornets aren't bad enough to get top lottery pick (Anthony Davis).

ALTERNATE UNIVERSE Yankees' George Steinbrenner gets his way, sends Mariano Rivera (below) to Mariners in '96. NEW ENDING Yanks wilt without '96 WS savior; Rivera helps Seattle over playoff hump; Griffey-Ichiro-A-Rod Mariners rise.

ALTERNATE UNIVERSE Packers and Raiders' Randy Moss find contractual middle ground, execute near-swap of '07. NEW ENDING Brett Favre teams up with Moss in 15--1 season that ends with SB XLII glory; No. 4 makes clean break from NFL; Aaron Rodgers inherits dominant offense.

ALTERNATE UNIVERSE Cardinals send prospect Albert Pujols (not Fernando Tatís; it was close) to Expos in '00. NEW ENDING Alongside Vlad Guerrero, '01 R.O.Y. pushes Expos deep in playoffs; TV bidding war ensues; Montreal stadium interest revived.