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Report: Donovan Mitchell will help lead NBA Social Justice Coalition; free agency Dec. 1?

SHARE Report: Donovan Mitchell will help lead NBA Social Justice Coalition; free agency Dec. 1?

Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell (45) plays against the Boston Celtics during the first half on an NBA basketball game in Boston, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Michael Dwyer, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell has become a prominent voice concerning matters of racial justice in recent months, and according to a report Tuesday from The Athletic’s Shams Charania, he will formally become part of a new group of NBA players tasked with helping to realize the league’s goals of greater social justice.

Charania reported that the league and its players’ association have jointly created two groups — the NBA Foundation and the Social Justice Coalition — with Mitchell being in the latter group alongside Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony and Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown.

Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes and Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris will be player reps on the NBA Foundation, Charania reported.

Much of Charania’s report Tuesday centered on an interview with players’ association executive director Michele Roberts, and the two discussed the social justice efforts, among other topics.

“These are guys who have, on their own, been very engaged in their communities and being part of the discussion,” Charania quoted Roberts as saying. “They’re not simply guys that talk the talk. They actually roll up their sleeves and do the work. So that was important to us, having guys who really wanted do the work.”

Elsewhere, Roberts said January and February are “realistic” start times for next season, with the upcoming free agency period expected to start “no later than Dec. 1.”

Roberts and Charania also discussed the success of the NBA’s bubble at Disney World and how team owners and players will work through the financial challenges that the coronavirus pandemic presented.

“How are we going to manage these losses on the players’ side and the owners’ side? No one is suggesting that either the players alone or the owners alone should sustain the losses,” Roberts said. “The nub of the conversation will be managing the losses such that it makes sense for both the owners and the players, and recognizing and not ignoring the incredible sacrifices the players have made and will have to make in this environment to keep our sport going. You know, easy peasy.”