…and most astonishingly (money considerations aside) received a player of value for Jerome James.  As the clock winds down on the Association’s trade deadline, Newsday’s Alan Hahn relays a completed trade that slightly improves the 22-33 Knicks’ chances of claiming the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Knicks acquired veteran Larry Hughes from the Chicago Bulls for Tim Thomas, Anthony Roberson and Jerome James.

In another move, the Knicks got rugged 6-10 forward Chris Wilcox (above) from the Oklahoma City Thunder for veteran Malik Rose and cash considerations.

The key acquisition is Wilcox, 26, who fills a desperate need for toughness and athleticism in the frontcourt in exchange for Rose, who has been buried on the bench for most of the season. Wilcox had been traded to New Orleans earlier this week with Joe Smith in the Tyson Chandler deal that was rescinded late Wednesday night. Chandler apparently failed the physical and the Thunder opted to turn down the deal. It didn’t take long for them to flip Wilcox to the Knicks, who, according to a source, also sent cash along with Rose.

An added bonus to the deal is that the Knicks get Wilcox, who is in the final year of his contract, without giving up future salary cap space. He is averaging 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game in 37 games this season.

At the start of the Newsday piece, Hahn reports Donnie Walsh rejected an overture from Sacramento that would’ve sent Nate Robinson and Jared Jeffries to the Kings in exchange for Kenny Thomas’ expiring contract.   Coming on the heels of Robinson’s fantastic performance against San Antonio, New York obviously concluded the diminutive PG’s value is far greater than the financial comfort afforded by dumping Jeffries and gaining more cap room in 2010 after Thomas is done.

Of Minnesota ensnaring Sheldon Williams while dealing Rashad McCants to Sacramento, Yahoo’s Kelly Dwyer writes, “two former lottery picks switch places. One works his tail off but isn’t really that good, and the other sulks and mopes and isn’t really concerned with much beyond trying to hit pull-up jumpers.  And yet, somehow, both of these guys will be termed ‘disappointing’ in any write-up regarding this trade.”  I’m not sure how disappointed you could be in 2009 over McCannot (Pass The Ball If His Life Depended On It.).