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Cato may stay for the long haul

A lot of people figured that Kelvin Cato would not be long for Detroit, that he was just an expiring contract the Pistons acquired simply to move to yet another team before the trade deadline. Now, it's starting to look like that's not the case. With the trade deadline looming tomorrow, Cato is still in Detroit, and he, for one, happens to think that he's going to be here for the rest of the season:

"I don't think they would have gave me my name on the wall (locker room nameplate) if they were thinking of getting rid of me," Cato said on Tuesday. "If it happens, they got two more days to make it happen."

If he stays, well, it'll still be awhile before we get to see him on the court. He's nursing a right ankle injury that will prevent him from resuming basketball-related activities for at least another week. And after that, well, he'll probably still be behind Dale Davis on the depth chart, and we know how much we've seen him this year.

Even if he doesn't play much in the regular season, he'll have a special role come playoff time:

"More than likely in the East, you'll have to play against Shaq (Miami's Shaquille O'Neal) at some point (in the playoffs)," Saunders said. "You can't ever have enough bodies to go against him."

At 6-11, 275 pounds, Cato is just one inch and a few pounds smaller than Elden Campbell, who was rarely used last year until it came time to stand there and lean on Kazaam. I never really bought into the idea that Davis could fill that role -- he's listed at 6-11 but weighs just 252. Time will tell, but come time for the Eastern Conference Finals, I won't be surprised if a lot of us are suddenly thankful that we didn't flip Cato for another point guard, as difficult as that is for many of us to comprehend right now.

Pistons may keep Cato for depth in playoffs []