Zap! Bang! PAU!

I think my brain needed to reboot after reading that the Lakers had traded away Kwame Brown, a few non-essential players, and draft picks for Pau Gasol, formerly of the Memphis Grizzlies. I had resigned myself to the Lakers never being able to pull the trigger on a trade of this magnitude. I had also begun to resign myself to the Lakers falling apart in the face of an overwhelming number of injuries…just like last season. Instead, here we are.

What does this mean for the Lakers? In the short term, they should be able to better withstand the recent barrage of injuries to key players such as Andrew Bynum and Luke Walton. Pau gives them a quality seven-footer who can produce the points, rebounds, and inside presence they've so sorely missed since Bynum went down a couple weeks ago. In the long term, assuming that Bynum returns healthy, it makes them an incredibly scary team come playoff time.

It's also worth noting that the Lakers beat a fairly solid Toronto Raptors team tonight, which is impressive considering that, with the absence of the newest Grizzlies, they were even more shorthanded than they have been. They appeared to play more freely than they have since Bynum's injury and I can't remember Kobe Bryant having a better game this season. If merely the thought Pau Gasol joining the team inspires them this much, imagine what they'll look like once Pau has settled in. Tantilizing for Lakers fans. Frightening for everyone else.

I'm trying not to get overly hopeful here, but I can't help but imagine this trade making David Stern squeal like a little girl. The prospect of a Celtics/Lakers NBA finals has to make him positively giddy.