With all the talk about the Bulls gaining flexibility and reducing payroll and the big bad luxury tax, the NBA Championship (which is the goal, right?) was just won by a team far into the luxury tax, and with several players either overpaid and/or on bad long-term deals.
The Lakers didn't see the need to let talent walk now to get different yet potentially better talent later. They kept their riches and got even richer.
The Bulls are in a unique position (through the Rose lottery miracle and unmatched financial might) to have both a ridiculous amount of young talent and the expiring contracts to steal someone from a team looking to dump a high-priced (yet very good) player. But they've managed to convince their fanbase that we can't have it all, and shouldn't even bother asking for it.
And it's reasonable to think Gasol isn't worth max money, Odom's way overpaid at $14m per. Bynum, Walton, Vujacic received premature or overpriced extensions. That an aged Derek Fisher didn't deserve the full MLE. But while it's better to be smarter with the money and just as good, there's something to be said for spending your way out of mistakes. Risky, sure. But if you're a Lakers fan today, I doubt you care.
(oh, and congrats to Phil Jackson! Mostly as a flip of the finger to Celtics dorks)