The Bulls missed out on Carmelo Anthony but won't leave the free agency weekend empty-handed.
Forward Pau Gasol tweeted out early Saturday evening that he has decided to sign with the Bulls.
It hasn't been easy. After meditating it a lot I've chosen to play with the Chicago Bulls. Looking forward to this new chapter of my career— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) July 12, 2014
Gasol, 34, has averaged 18.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in his 14-year career, including four All-Star Game appearances and two championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010. After posting career-worst numbers in 2012-13, Gasol bounced back last year in averaging 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds. He became the team's first option as Kobe Bryant appeared in just six games after dealing with knee and Achilles injuries.
Gasol turned down a two-year, $20 million deal from the Lakers yesterday. Terms of the contract have not been disclosed, though multiple outlets are reporting that Gasol will not be acquired as part of a sign-and-trade.
Gasol later sent out a statement on his website, PauGasol.com, in Spanish. Here it is translated:
"After much thought and meditation, I decided to join the Chicago Bulls. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to be part of a franchise so tradition and play on a team with many aspirations, with such passionate fans.
Although I see a promising future for me in Chicago, decided to leave Los Angeles has been one of the hardest decisions I've had to make. In my seven seasons with the Lakers, three times we have reached the NBA Finals, having managed to become champions twice. I am very grateful to have coincided with one of the great players in the history of the NBA, Kobe Bryant, and other great companions; and to have had the opportunity to be under the command of one of the best coaching, Phil Jackson, and his technical team. I am also happy to have played in a franchise with one of the best owners in all of sports, the Buss family. Still, I realize that the Lakers are under reconstruction. No doubt that in the future again be contenders ring. Unfortunately, the immediate needs of the Lakers do not match mine. All the best to the team and their fans.
Leaving Los Angeles, a city I love and a place where I have established many friendships and relationships, it has been a very difficult decision for me. My intention, despite my farewell is to stay connected to the community of Los Angeles, you always feel like home.
While I take a new step in my career in the NBA, I have high hopes of playing with the Chicago Bulls and become an active person in the community of Chicago."
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