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Johnson on discussions with Pat Riley, some of his Heat observations; Rishard Matthews addresses free agency

When I asked new Heat swingman Joe Johnson today about what Pat Riley told him when recruiting him last week, Johnson revealed something surprising:

“The most important thing Pat told me was that this wasn’t just a short-term deal, that he would like me to finish my career here. That’s what we’re working toward. I want to come out and help as much as possible.”

Johnson reiterated: “Hopefully, I can finish my career here. I know nothing is set in stone.”

But that will be difficult to achieve if Johnson envisions getting substantially more than the minimum, because Miami would need to use cap space to do it, unless Johnson signs for just under $2 million.

Even in his first two days with the Heat, Johnson said he has “seen a lot of things I haven’t seen in my 15-year career. I’ve been impressed.”

Such as?

“The weight training program, how guys are so together and down for one another. That’s a great bond and that’s how you become a winning team.”

Johnson has spent time in Miami “for about the past six, seven years in the summer, about two to three months training, working out. I’ve made this a home for me in the summer."

Johnson said he had a residence here but sold it “a couple of years ago.”

Erik Spoelstra said Johnson came in early Tuesday morning to continue indoctrinating himself to the team’s offense.

“We still plan on not running a lot of plays [for me],” Johnson said, smiling. “Coach Spo has been great about getting out running. The offense is pretty simplified, not complicated at all. It’s really just ball movement, setting picks, moving and keep the floor spaced.”


Dolphins receiver Rishard Matthews, who seems positioned to command more than what Miami might be able to offer, nevertheless says he’s interested in the Dolphins. But he’s awaiting an offer.

Appearing today on WQAM with Joe Rose and Curtis Stevenson, Matthews was asked if he is interested in coming back to the Dolphins.

Yes,” he said. “I voiced that to them a number of times. We've been in talks. They said they want me back. Now it's the wait game, waiting for them.

“I've spoken to everybody I need to talk to to make the decision to come back. It sounds good what direction they're trying to go in. As long as everything is right, I'll be willing to come back. I'm waiting for them.”

But, he said, “We're definitely excited to go into free agency. I was drafted by the Dolphins, I love the organization. I hope things can work out. If not, I'm excited about free agency.”

What is he looking for in free agency, besides money?

“Opportunity,” he told Rose and Stevenson. “Wherever I go, I'm competing to get on the field right away. I don't want to be looked at as anything less than a 2.”

Therein lies the rub. The Dolphins aren’t in position to pay him as a No. 2 when they have DeVante Parker and Jarvis Landry as likely longterm starters. But his return can’t be ruled out, either, even though Matthews said at the end of the season that he was more likely to be elsewhere next season.

Twitter: @flasportsbuzz