Lakers, Heat, Spurs, Thunder and Knicks had all held interest in Spaniard.
Pau Gasol believes that the Chicago Bulls are “hungry to win” as he revealed that he turned down more lucrative offers before moving to the Windy City.
The Bulls were believed to have been prioritising New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony when the free agency market opened for business, but the 30-year-old eventually opted to remain at Madison Square Garden.
As a result, Chicago switched their attention to Plan B with their cap space allowing them to move for both Gasol and top European prospect Nikola Mirotic.
Having used the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer, the organisation was able to officially present their new duo on Friday, with Gasol signing a three-year contract worth more than $22m, ESPN reports.
The 34-year-old praised the entire franchise and revealed that he spoke to various players prior to making his decision, with Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose in particular impressing him with how humble and dedicated to winning they are.
Gasol joins the Bulls after seven years with the Los Angeles Lakers during which he won two championships and averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds last season despite being dogged by injuries.
However, with that chapter of his career now over, Gasol is eager to get to training camp and work with his new team-mates with general excitement over how talented and deep the Bulls’ front-court now is after their summer recruitment drive.
Along with Noah, Taj Gibson proved to be a valuable piece of the roster last season and with Mirotic also arriving there is likely to be significant rotation which will allow coach Tom Thibodeau to work with different partnerships and rest key players during the regular season in order to prepare for the playoffs.
“Money obviously wasn’t the priority here,” said Gasol, who was introduced by the Bulls on Friday at the United Center.
“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.”
The Spaniard will also be expected to act as a mentor to Mirotic, with the 23-year-old also presented to the media on Friday after signing a three-year contract worth $18m.