The Chicago Bulls moved to jump-start their playoff push by acquiring Tim Thomas from the New York Knicks in a quiet final day of NBA trading yesterday.
Chicago also acquired guard Anthony Roberson and center Jerome James from the Knicks as part of the deal in exchange for veteran guard Larry Hughes.
Several high-profile players like the Phoenix Suns' Shaquille O'Neal were expected to be on the market but no blockbuster deals occurred before the 3 p.m. EST deadline.
In a three-way trade completed just before the deadline, the Houston Rockets shipped guard Rafer Alston to the Orlando Magic, with Memphis guard Kyle Lowry and Orlando forward Brian Cook heading to the Rockets.
Memphis received a future first-round pick from Orlando as part of the deal. Orlando also sent center Adonal Foyle and Mike Wilks to Memphis.
Thomas, a 31-year-old forward playing in his 12th NBA season, is averaging 9.6 points and 3.5 rebounds this year for New York, both below his career marks.
He is expected to give the Bulls a boost in their bid to secure a spot in the postseason. Chicago are 1.5 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final playoff spot.
In another move, Chicago swapped guard Thabo Sefolosha to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 2009 first-round draft pick.
The Knicks continued to rebuild their roster by dealing forward Malik Rose to Oklahoma City in exchange for forward Chris Wilcox.
New York are angling to free up salary cap space for the summer of 2010 when Cleveland's LeBron James, Miami's Dwyane Wade and Toronto's Chris Bosh will become free agents.
The Sacramento Kings acquired guard Rashad McCants and center Calvin Booth from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for forward/center Shelden Williams and guard Bobby Brown.
(Agencies via Shanghai Daily February 20, 2009)