Jose Alvarado will hire agent for draft, retain eligibility to return

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)
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

Georgia Tech guard Jose Alvarado will hire an agent and test his NBA draft stock while still leaving open the potential to return for a fifth season. Alvarado made the announcement Wednesday with a tweet.

“After weeks of consideration, I would like to announce that I will be hiring an agent and declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft while maintaining my eligibility,” Alvarado wrote.

The ACC defensive player of the year, Alvarado had been understood to be weighing his options between turning professional and playing a final season with the Yellow Jackets, whom he led to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010 and first ACC championship since 1993.

Coach Josh Pastner said a week after Tech’s season ended with the tournament loss to Loyola Chicago that Alvarado, Jordan Usher, Moses Wright and Michael Devoe were all planning to get feedback on their draft candidacy.

Usher committed to returning, joining Bubba Parham in the fold among seniors using the extra season offered to fall- and winter-sports athletes by the NCAA.

“(Alvarado is) going to get his information and decide if he’s coming back or not,” Pastner told the AJC. “Nothing’s changed. He’s been planning this all along.”

Alvarado’s decision to sign with an agent is one more step in the direction of turning professional, though not an irreversible one. So long as the agent is certified by the NCAA, Alvarado would be free to return to Tech so long as he were to withdraw from the draft by July 19, 10 days before the draft.

Alvarado also could return if he were to stay in the draft and not be taken in the two-round selection, but only if he had participated in the NBA draft combine, scheduled for June 21-27.

It is common for college players to withdraw from the draft. There were more than 90 early-entry candidates that took their names out of the draft in 2019 and more than 100 in 2018.

Pastner said he did not know yet Wright’s plans regarding signing with an agent. He said that Devoe will not sign.

Alvarado joins a growing lot of draft hopefuls. As of Wednesday evening, the NBA website listed 71 NCAA players who had officially submitted their names into the NBA draft pool, a list last updated Sunday. The list does not include international players.

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