• Kevin Love

Kevin Love (Photo : Getty Images)

The Cleveland Cavaliers are the champions and it makes a world of difference even if it's just four points.

If the outcome of Game 7 did not turn out with a 93-89 victory, the entire narrative of the offseason would have been different. We would be talking about a different Kevin, because Durant would have stayed with Oklahoma, not wanting to ride on someone else's parade.

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The big question would be "Where would Kevin Love end up?" and since it's a trade, the Cleveland Cavaliers, via de facto GM LeBron James would hold the answer.

In the middle of the season, Kevin Love was almost traded, but the Cavs elected to fire coach David Blatt instead. Even if the Cavs got their expected success, it became apparent that the Cavs could get better if Love was traded, depending on who they got in return.

A Kevin Love trade was almost inevitable, as Tom Ziller of SB Nation noted, perhaps only a title would prevent it, and it did. But that's still "perhaps" and Ziller even said "the Cavaliers should probably trade Kevin Love this summer, even if they win the championship."

Again, the Cavs are the champions and the onus is on the Golden State Warriors to make the adjustment and bridge that four-point gap. Unfortunately for the Cavs, they did make a change, perhaps the worst one as far as the Cavs are concerned.

The Cavs sagged on Harrison Barnes in the Finals because of his atrocious shooting, allowing them to clamp down on the Splash brothers. Now, Harrison Barnes is Kevin Durant, probably the deadliest scorer in the league today. Ergo, the Kevin Love trade is now a necessity.

Love has no say in this, as opposed to Russell Westbrook or Blake Griffin. He is not a free agent at the end of the season, so his trade value is amplified and that's good news for the Cavs.

At the top of Ziller's list of potential partners lie the Boston Celtics. They can offer the best trade package of players and picks. Jae Crowder, in particular, may be a better defender when they face Durant and they can get Amir Johnson if they want to compensate for Love's rebounds, or Marcus Smart and/or Avery Bradley.

But the chances of the Cavs trading Love to the Celtics may have passed. The Celtics got Al Horford, and any Love trade would not decimate the Celtics enough to make them weaker. Boston, even now, is a legitimate threat to the Cavs' Eastern dominance. Sending Kevin Love, unless the Cavs got Al Horford in return, will make the Celtics stronger.

Chances are, the Cavs will send Love out West-to make the Warriors' clear path a little bit bumpier.

Of course, the purpose of a trade is still to make the Cavs stronger. On this premise, two playoff dark horses from the West could present as the best candidates: the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers.

The Cavs needed legitimate help up front which is why the Love-DeMarcus Cousins trade was the talk all summer. If that doesn't happen, the Utah Jazz could provide a good package.

The deal could start with Derrick Favors, as Rudy Gobert will most likely be groomed as the Jazz' center of the future. It's unlikely the Jazz would offer Hayward, and the Cavs would probably prefer Rodney Hood. A package of Favors and Hood is good enough for Kevin Love at this point.

The Portland Trail Blazers were big spenders this summer but their team did not improve much. Trading for Love changes that, not to mention it is the real homecoming for Love who hails from Oregon (not LA). Since they cannot trade their newly-signed players, the trade will likely center on Al-Farouq Aminu and Ed Davis, two players who could help the Cavs on defense.

It may not be easy for both teams to give up their core players, but Love is still a star and his statistical drop is in the context of sacrificing for the team's sake. Both Portland and Utah will ultimately become better teams with these trades, and so will the Cavs.