In all seriousness, the Knicks picked up Kelvin Cato today, as was rumored (well, the Cato part wasn’t rumored, but the “Knicks were not going to sign any of the four players they brought in for the last spot, but were going to sign a veteran center instead” thing was rumored).
The move sounds just like a placeholder, and I doubt Cato would get much more time than Jerome James was going to get (which my hope was, not a lot), but to be honest, while he’s 32 and coming off an injury-plagued year (which was also the worst season, PER-wise, of his career), I don’t think Cato could be worse than James, and he does offer a lot more size than the guys who got cut, as he’s 6-11, 275 pounds.
Here are his PERs for his career:
1997-98 – 13.49
1999 – 14.81
1999-00 – 16.04
2000-01 – 13.26
2001-02 – 14.42
2002-03 – 15.61
2003-04 – 13.34
2004-05 – 14.91
2005-06 – 7.72
His Rebound Rate for the past few years (not counting last year’s short season – although it was quite high in the few games he played) is quite good, better on the whole than James’.
19.8 in 02-03, 16.0 in 03-04 and 15.3 in 04-05.
Those are pretty good numbers, and certainly an improvement on Curry.
Also, for his career, he averages 1.3 blocks (and his career average in minutes is only 20), so that’s a nice wrinkle to have on defense.
But, again, he’s another year older and coming off an injury, so I don’t think the Knicks will expect much more than a few minutes of decent defense and good rebounding, which I think definitely does have a place on this current Knick squad.