Jose Alvarado holding down rotation spot with Pelicans

After playing scant minutes in the season’s first two months, former Georgia Tech star Jose Alvarado has earned a spot in the rotation of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Since being cleared from the NBA’s health and safety protocol on New Year’s Day, Alvarado has played in all eight of New Orleans’ games, averaging 11.4 minutes, 3.1 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.0 steals per game.

For the moment, at least, he has appeared to have taken the minutes from another Pelicans backup point guard, Tomas Satoransky, who missed four games in protocol but has not played since. It’s a significant development for Alvarado, who went undrafted after forgoing his extra year of eligibility at Tech and then signed a two-way contract with the Pelicans, meaning he likely would split time between the NBA team and its G League affiliate. Alvarado played five games with the Birmingham Squadron earlier in the season, but may be sticking with the Pelicans.

Alvarado made his return to his native New York Saturday, when the Pelicans played the Brooklyn Nets. Alvarado played a career-high 16 minutes and tied his career high with seven points while adding two assists and a steal.

New Orleans plays at Boston Monday in a 12:30 p.m. game, then returns to New York to play the Knicks on Thursday.

Growing up, he said, he went to one or two Knicks games.

“Now that I get to say that I’m not just going, I’m actually on a bench, on a team, it’s pretty awesome,” Alvarado told New Orleans media last Thursday. “Every time I go got to an arena, I take a picture, send it to my dad or send it to whoever, and be like, ‘Look, how cool is this?’ It’s just an amazing feeling.”

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