The Chicago Bulls introduced their biggest offseason acquisition, Pau Gasol, on Friday. The two-time NBA champion made an admission, although not a terribly surprising one, that he left money on the table to join Derrick Rose and Co.
From Jon Greenberg of ESPN Chicago:
“Money obviously wasn’t the priority here,” said Gasol, who was introduced by the Bulls on Friday at the United Center, along with rookie forward Nikola Mirotic. “I turned down bigger offers and I prioritized being on a championship-caliber team and being in a position where I can hopefully put that team over the top with my game as well. I felt that here I was going to have that opportunity, and now it’s just a matter of getting to work.”
“I want to be part of a hungry team that will do whatever it takes,” Gasol said.
It’s been reported by Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Gasol turned down a contract that would have paid him $11 million a year by the Los Angeles Lakers, which eclipses the three year pact worth $22 million he signed with the Bulls in terms of annual salary. But Gasol mentions “offers” so it’s clear the Lakers weren’t the only team willing to pay top-dollar for Gasol.
Regardless, Gasol is a Bull on a team-friendly deal and is poised to help Chicago do a lot of winning over the next couple of years, which is clearly his main goal.
At 33, Pau averaged 17.4, 9.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game last season for the Lakers.