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Dahntay Jones optimistic in Brooklyn, as 'last year's distractions' are gone

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Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

In an interview with Thomas Duffy of NetsDaily during the Brooklyn Nets 2015 Media Day, one of the team's newest wings, Dahntay Jones, talked about this season and how the Nets won't be affected by the "distractions" that the team faced last season.

Quoting media reports and "personal friends" he had on the 2014-15 Nets, Jones suggested the distractions included "guys who may or may not wanted to be here."

Jones didn't name anyone specifically, but gone from the team this year is point guard Deron Williams, who was bought out by the team this summer, ultimately landing in Dallas with the Mavericks.

"I do feel this is a playoff team," Jones said. "Last season," he went on, "there were distractions that were there for various reasons. (Now), guys can get down and play basketball, find their own identity and not have to worry about different things that distracted them last year.

"These are things that are in the media in general and over the course of the season, you're going to have rifts, you're going to have different things that come up, but I think those guys were in a tough spot because of the personnel on the team and guys who may or may not wanted to be here. Different things that don't have to go on throughout the course of a season," Jones notes when speaking about this season.

"You have a different group of guys now. You have a young core who are very willing and eager to succeed and have found a nice foundation. These guys are committed to this whole team and not worried about anything else, just worried about the season," an optimistic Jones told Duffy.

"That team had a lot of different things going. I had personal friends on that team last year and they were going through some ups and downs. This is a totally different unit, a totally different dynamic. The roles will be more settled into and the guys know where they stand and they'll work harder and be able to achieve great things this year."

Jones is hoping to make an impact this season as the team's wing defender off the bench, a role played by Alan Anderson last season, who is now in Washington. Head coach Lionel Hollins mentioned Jones, who he's familiar with during his time with Memphis, when discussing the role, but did note that the rotation isn't close to being finalized at this point in training camp.