Knicks 2007 Report Card (A to Z): Kelvin Cato

KnickerBlogger: Cato played only 95 minutes this year, the fewest in his 10 year career. It’s a shame because his skill set is complementary to that of Curry’s, and Cato could have helped the Knicks in spot duty. Cato is a very good defender, and the Knicks desperately needed help in that area. New York finished 24th in defensive efficiency.

KnickerBlogger’s Grade: Incomplete

2008 Outlook: The Knicks would be lucky to resign Cato, and give him whatever minutes they gave to Jerome James. For his career he doesn’t block shots as often as James (2.6 to 3.2 blk/40), but he commits less fouls (5.1 to 8.3 pf/40), turnovers (1.7 to 3.4 pf/40), and is a better rebounder (10.8 to 9.2 reb/40). Unfortunately Isiah has James signed until 2010, so James will eat up the deep bench center minutes. Most likely next season Cato will find a team that will actually play him.

Brian Cronin: Looking back, I guess the market out there for Kelvin Cato just wasn’t as big as one would think, because why else would he sign with the Knicks? Talent-wise, it’s a great fit, as Cato is the type of strong defender that the Knicks really could use (and he can still move quick enough that he could hang with the Lees and Balkmans of the world…well, maybe not, but still better than Curry! In other words, this isn’t a big stiff we’re talking about here), but manpower-wise, he had to know he wasn’t going to get to play, so I guess no other team had a need for him, which is too bad, as I think he could help out a number of teams. I really liked what little we saw of him this year. But yeah, any grade other than “Incomplete” would be silly here.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

10 thoughts to “Knicks 2007 Report Card (A to Z): Kelvin Cato”

  1. Cato seems like the same player as Morris, I don’t see why we would “be lucky” to resign him?
    …The albatross contract of Jerome James is one big ‘incomplete’ for Isiah!

  2. I thought all season that not playing Cato was an absolute crime. IT’s motivation of playing the two JJ’s ultimately hurt some of the developmental potential of Balk and sold D/Blocks from Cato. The only rational reason I could think IT played the JJ brothers is b/c of their mid-level exceptions and he did not want to face the music that he made mistakes doing it. But, if Balk and Cato would have helped us get into the playoffs this year, those two signing would not have been sensationalized as much as they have been. I do hope that IT resigns Cato this year and uses him accordingly and trades the JJs for anything that breathes.

  3. Cato’s, roster spot will go to the incoming rookie we draft this year (sorry to say), when it should be Jerome’s roster spot he takes.

    And, we’re in a rebuilding stage, the new kid from Kentucky should be playing/groom more next year. So forget Cato and Jerome. Waive Cato and include James in a package deal.

  4. Henry – Cato would, in fact, lose his spot to an incoming rookie, but that’s only provided

    A. That the Knicks don’t convert a “Whole pile of players for one player” deal (which, honestly, they probably SHOULD – just so long as it is the right player)


    B. That the Knicks use the pick on a “win now” rookie. Isiah might very well pick a project, in which case he can go to the NBDL.

    But yeah, otherwise, Cato’s spot on the team would be lost to the incoming rookie.

  5. Brian,

    A. Agree, a reliable young small forward (How about Al Harrington since Don Nelson didn’t use him much in the playoffs)

    B. Isiah has found some pretty good role players late (see Ariza, Balkman, Collins, Lee), but a win now rookie at 23? If he pulls that off then we definitely got to give him his props. If the shot blocker from BC (Sean?) is available (even though he may have some marijuana problems) take him. I read some were he blocked 75 shots in 15 games and that’s not counting the ones he altered. We need that.

  6. Cato was brought in basocally to aid with the development of Curry during practice. He held a similar role in Orlando with Howard. He is a pretty good character person that seem to not have a problem with that role

  7. Why hasnt anyone mentioned his locker room presence? I was under the assumption that Cato’s primary purposes are a) teach curry b)practice with curry. I wouldn’t be too quick to put Cato on a pedastal over JJ1. They both trip over themselves.

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