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Crossroads 2017: Why This Summer Is So Important

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With a superstar on the floor, a new arena on the way, and a path forward in the Eastern Conference, every step matters for the Milwaukee Bucks.

NBA: New York Knicks at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

As of this writing, everything is as it always is in the NBA. LeBron James rules the Eastern Conference with an iron fist, while influence in the Western Conference is centralized within a trio of talented teams. Challengers who have fallen by the wayside are now retooling, while young up-and-comers are still gaining their sea legs.

However, in Milwaukee, things are not how they have always been. A team previously satisfied with joining the also-rans in their early postseason exits, or pinning hopes on the shoulders of unproven mid-lottery picks, or throwing money at a free agent years past his prime, now has the one thing that puts them on a different track. That one thing is a superstar, and the Bucks have theirs in Giannis Antetokounmpo.

At only 22 years old, it is easy to think that the Bucks have nothing but time on their side to slowly build their contender around Giannis, and perhaps even wait out the reigning King of the East. But time in the NBA follows a fitful path; a month can seem like an eternity, or three years can pass in a blink.

Despite the youth of their star (and the majority of his supporting cast), time is not on the Bucks side. The hourglass has been flipped, and each precious grain of sand that falls through carries a fraction of the Bucks’ chances with it. The summer of 2017 is a major crossroads for the Milwaukee Bucks. Decisions made in the next three months will impact outcomes for the franchise for the next three decades. If you think that’s an over exaggeration, look at how many of our own members can recall the 1971 championship team, but the rest of it sort of blends together.

That’s why we decided to run a special series this offseason titled “Crossroads 2017.” The inflection point our team is at right now is so important, we would be remiss not to offer as much perspective and analysis as we can.

Over the course of this series, these are some of the topics we’re going to dive into:

  • Jason Kidd, and his future as Milwaukee’s head coach
  • Tony Snell, and his restricted free agency
  • Greg Monroe, Thon Maker, and the future of the center position
  • Malcolm Brogdon: is he the league’s next Draymond Green?
  • Can it really work here with Jabari Parker?

Each series will be as in-depth as we can make it, and will probably involve multiple writers contributing to the effort. And we want your help too.

Which of these topics are the most important? Which ones aren’t as big of a deal? Is there anything missing from the list? Is this summer really even that important? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll all forge ahead together.