And the winner is...DeSagana Diop!
As reported by ESPN:
DALLAS -- DeSagana Diop signed a five-year, $31 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, six months after Dallas sent him to New Jersey in the Jason Kidd trade.
The Mavericks used their entire midlevel exception in their second free-agent deal with Diop since 2005.
Seems like a nice raise for someone who had never previously made $2.5 million in a season.
Though the money sounds high, I'm really not sure how much of a value deal this is for the Mavs or what exactly the market was for Diop. That said, I do think that Diop is an important piece for the Mavs and wrote during the season that his loss could be the biggest problem with the acquisition of Jason Kidd for this team. Though he started just 18 of the 52 games he appeared in for Dallas in 2007-08, Diop continued to be a force on the defensive interior, an excellent offensive rebounder and a good shot-blocker.
The Mavs' defensive efficiency was consistently much better with Diop on the court than off it during his prior tenure in Dallas, and his return will likely provide a boost so long as he isn't counted on to be any great shakes offensively.