Jose Alvarado loving NBA pre-draft process

Georgia Tech's Jose Alvarado (10) celebrates in the final seconds of the Yellow Jackets' 70-66 victory over Miami in the quarterfinal round of the ACC Tournament Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Greensboro, N.C. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer)
Caption
Georgia Tech's Jose Alvarado (10) celebrates in the final seconds of the Yellow Jackets' 70-66 victory over Miami in the quarterfinal round of the ACC Tournament Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Greensboro, N.C. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer)

Credit: Ethan Hyman

Credit: Ethan Hyman

The NBA pre-draft experience for Georgia Tech guard Jose Alvarado has been busy, but also a fulfillment.

“Amazing, amazing, amazing blessing,” Alvarado said Tuesday, after he worked out for the Golden State Warriors along with Yellow Jackets teammate Moses Wright. “Just to have all these jerseys on, the workouts I’ve been to, it’s a dream come true.”

To perform before NBA decision makers, Alvarado has traveled across the country to work out for scouts and coaches. The itinerary has included Milwaukee, Memphis, New York and Golden State. That’ll be followed by Utah, New Orleans, Phoenix, Toronto and Dallas. He will have until July 7 to decide whether he wants to stay in the draft or return to Tech for his extra season of eligibility. Wright already has determined that he will stay in the draft.

While Alvarado was not invited to the NBA draft combine – he did take part in a G League camp and performed well – the series of workouts are an encouraging sign as other college players who also declared for the draft have made their decisions to return to campus.

“I’m blessed with that schedule,” Alvarado said. “It means I’m doing something right. Hopefully, I’ll change a few people’s minds.”

Alvarado said that he’ll take until the July 7 deadline to decide whether to return to Tech or stay in the draft.

“Every day, it gets a little closer,” he said. “I’m going to keep praying about it, keep my family in the loop, talk to them and see what decision I need to make during that time. It’s getting closer, obviously, so I need to make a decision sooner than later.”

Alvarado said that his decision wouldn’t hinge solely on whether he expects to be drafted. While an agreement from a team that it will draft him would certainly simplify the decision, it’s possible that a team could also indicate its plan to sign him as an undrafted free agent and extend a two-way contract to play for both the team and in the G League. On the other hand, he might also receive feedback that he would significantly improve his draft standing with another solid season at Tech.

“It doesn’t matter if I get drafted,” he said. “It’s just the best opportunity, which one is the best situation for me. I’ve just got to think about it with my family.”

Alvarado has tried not to contemplate the decision, focusing only on the workouts.

“Every opportunity I have is special,” Alvarado said. “Every time I put these jerseys on, I go out there and give it my all no matter where I’m at.”

Alvarado called the G League camp a “great experience” and viewed it, unsurprisingly, from a team-first perspective.

“It was great guys in there, great competition,” he said. “I’m happy with my team. We locked in, and we were undefeated on that team, 2-0. So that’s a good sign. It was a great experience.”

Along with the other 39 camp participants, Alvarado had hoped to earn an invitation to the combine, but he was not one of the four to be granted that opportunity.

“It happens,” he said. “I wasn’t upset. It wasn’t like the end of the world for me. Those four guys that got called up, they deserved it. They worked hard, and I’m glad they did it and they got the opportunity, and I was just cheering them on.”

In his team workouts, Alvarado has tried to show off the strengths that enabled him to lead Tech to win the ACC championship and for him to win conference defensive player of the year – his defensive ability, energy, competitiveness and leadership. He said his shot also has “definitely” improved. (He was 3-for-6 at the G League camp on NBA-distance 3-pointers.)

“The best advice I got is just keep being you,” he said. “Never change who you are, don’t try to do something that you think you need to do to impress somebody. Just keep being who you are, keep being Jose. Never get too high, never get too low, and somebody’s going to fall in love with you. That’s the mindset I’ve been on.”