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Karl Malone rips down a rebound, outlets it to Danny Ainge, who dribbles into the forecourt and fires a pass to a streaking Tom Chambers, who jams the ball through the basket for two points.

That scenario is possible in "Fantasy Basketball," a contest by the Deseret News through the Newspaper Agency Corporation, circulation agent for the newspaper.If you've ever wanted to be an NBA team owner or general manager and put together a championship team, this is your chance. Fantasy Basketball gives you the chance to draft 12 players and compete for prizes via their 1989-90 game statistics.

All of the contest rules and information, as well as the form to select the players, are in today's Deseret News in the special Utah Jazz section. Basically, here's how it works: Each person selects one of six players from each of 12 groups. Each point, rebound and assist recorded by your players in regular-season NBA games counts as one Fantasy Basketball point. The lowest player's total will be subtracted from each team.

Because assists and rebounds count equally, you could build your team with all guards, all forwards or all centers, or any combination. You could select Jazz players like Malone, John Stockton and Thurl Bailey or former local college players Ainge and Chambers. You'll have to guess which players will avoid injuries or contract hassles, play all 82 games and rack up the most Fantasy Basketball points this season.

One player not listed, ironically, is Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan. As the developer of the contest, SportsMark Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, put it, "Michael Jordan was not included in the selection because his statistics were so high he could not be grouped."

There will be daily and weekly prizes, and the final season winner receives $5,000. Second place is worth $2,500 and third place $1,000. Participation is limited to one entry per household. Weekly totals for assists and rebounds as well as points will be published each Saturday to keep Fantasy Basketball participants up to date on their selections.

Participants need not be subscribers to the Deseret News or the Salt Lake Tribune, which is also participating in the contest. There is no charge to enter. The entry deadline is Nov. 1, two days before the start of the regular season. First winners will be announced Nov. 25 and every Saturday thereafter in the Deseret News sports section. Participation is limited to one entry per household.

Each week published results will list the top 200 teams and the 200 teams with the most improved performance. There will be a $100 and $50 prize in each of those categories, with a separate daily prize drawn from the entry list. There is a no-repeat rule on the weekly $100 award.