The 34-year-old Gasol has had some injury problems the past few seasons and declined defensively, but he remains a unique talent offensively, with an array of post moves, the ability to hit the mid-range jumper and deft passing touch. He averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds last season.
The Spaniard won two NBA championships while with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.
Multiple reports indicated the Bulls and Lakers were working on a sign-and-trade deal for Gasol, but an agreement wasn’t reached. A sign-and-trade would have meant the Bulls could pay Gasol more money and keep their mid-level exception to use on Nikola Mirotic or another player.
Instead, the Bulls will have to use salary cap space to sign Gasol. Currently, they’re over the cap but can get under it by trading Carlos Boozer or using the amnesty provision on him.
That would open up about $10 million in cap space.