NEW YORK—Just minutes before the NBA trade deadline passed last Thursday, New York GM Isiah Thomas traded the Knicks' second-round draft pick to Toronto in return for three of the Raptors' victories. "We looked at a lot of offers, but with this deal, we knew exactly what we were getting," said Thomas, whose critics say this move is only a short-term solution to the Knicks' problems. "I don't think there's any question that this immediately makes us a better team. Just look at the standings—we were in last place by a few games last night, and we've already shot up to fourth. Our fans have been calling for more wins all season, and that's exactly what we've given them." Insiders report that Thomas had also been working on a trade in which Houston would receive all the Knicks' 2006-2007 victories in return for Tracy McGrady, but the deal fell apart after the Rockets said that would "not be nearly enough to help them contend."