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Vacation Plans

There's been some backlash over my trade ideas and rumormongoring. That's fine. Its only fair to give somewhat equal time to the other option. That is to stick with the core group of players and tweak the roster. This is by far the more likely option anyway. So without going through all the different minor moves Danny can make, lets take a look at our current set of players and what they can improve upon this summer so that we don't need to make drastic moves.

We'll start with a given that Gary Payton is gone. I'm sure every effort will be made to find Mark Blount a new, happy home. However, if he can't be moved, I'm starting my expectations out at zero and counting any production from him next year as gravy. Yup, he's officially in Vin Baker territory (presumably without the Gin and Juice).

Walker is a whole category unto himself. If he walks, we're done with him and it officially is go time for Al Jefferson. Even if someone else is brought in to take pressure off of Al, everyone will know its his show. If Walker stays, he'll need to work on some things this offseason and into the camps. He needs to learn Doc's system first and foremost. That means quicker passes and more ball movement. Too many times the offense stalled because he held the ball too long. He'll also need to take good care of his legs. He's never been a leaper, but he lost some drive and lift with that late season injury that I think effected him more than he'd admit in the playoffs.

As for everyone else's To Do List for the offseason...

Banks - Work on the jump shot. You can't say "learn to run an offense" because there is no drill for doing that. You just have to play. He will spend at least some time with Gary Payton in Vegas, and that's a good thing. But short of just playing games, he's going to have plenty of time to improve that jumper of his. If he's going to take shots, he better hit them.

West - Same basic comments on the "learn to run an offense" but clearly his jump shot is money already. Just maintain that stroke and maybe work on conditioning and build some more strength. You can't blame his freak injuries last year on anything but luck, but it would be nice if he didn't go down with anything next year that could have been prevented with some solid offseason work.

Allen - One word. Treadmill. He admitted that he hit the rookie wall and he hit it hard. Hope he will work with a strength and conditioning coach because when he's got his legs under him, he's something else. He can stand to work on the jumper too, but also maybe work on finishing around the basket in traffic. He had a little Walkeritis in his touch this year.

Reed - Everything. I think he's going to step up into a more productive role next year, so we're going to need him to be ready. He's already got a strong body, maybe work on the conditioning and jumpers with the other guards. He can post up smaller players too, but we didn't see much of that in game situations.

Perkins - Post moves and defense. He's got the body, he should be in good condition by now, he just needs to refine his game. I'd like to see him develop one or two go-to post moves. He doesn't have the creativity that Al has and he won't be asked to do too much on the post other than putbacks. Still, if Al gets too much attention, he should make them pay with a solid jump hook (or better yet, a dropstep dunk). Needs to work on moving his feet on defense so that he doesn't have to decapitate the player to stop him.

Jefferson - Same as Perk on the defense. Work on moving the feet. Also, get into a gym with Perk and add some girth to that body. He doesn't have to be quite the size of Kendrick, but his upper body needs some strength and it wouldn't hurt to add power to his legs. Other than that, just get ready for the increased attention next year. The days of playing the "kid from HS" card are over.

The Vets - The vets all have their conditioning routines and each has some fine tuning to do on their games, but for the most part, they are what they are. They need to maintain and in Raef's case, continue to rehab. Ricky's going to have fun, but since he's always a target, I hope he doesn't give the haters any more ammo.

Paul is Paul and he's got to decide what kind of attitude to bring into the season. No more waiting till a New Years resolution before being happy. I'm no psychologist, but I think he needs to embrace his situation and thrive in it. Nobody is completely happy with their job, but we're all called to be professional about it. On the other hand, for as unhappy as he apparently was this year, I think he did a great job of not letting it hinder his performance, and that's a credit to him. Still, being a captain means being a leader (at least by example). Its time to be The Man.

So that's my humble analysis of what each player needs to work on. I'm sure they know it better than I do and I'm sure I missed a lot of things. But if all of these guys can improve on at least one thing this offseason, that would be bigger than just about any trade that we could make.

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