Stay or go? Decision time has arrived for Jose Alvarado

Jose Alvarado and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are ACC champions following Saturday's 80-75 victory over Florida State.
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Jose Alvarado and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are ACC champions following Saturday's 80-75 victory over Florida State.

Credit: AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Georgia Tech guard Jose Alvarado’s exploration of his NBA opportunities has reached decision time. The Yellow Jackets star will need to decide by the end of Wednesday (11:59 p.m. ET, to be precise) whether he will stay in the draft or return to Tech for a second senior season.

“He’s got a tough decision, but I’m supporting him 100% whatever he decides,” coach Josh Pastner told the AJC.

Alvarado has gone through a series of pre-draft workouts with NBA teams and took part in a G League camp before the draft combine, a process that last week he called “a dream come true.” Pastner said that Alvarado was to work out with the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.

I’m blessed with that schedule,” Alvarado said June 29 after a workout with the Golden State Warriors. “It means I’m doing something right. Hopefully, I’ll change a few people’s minds.”

Alvarado also said that he would not base his decision solely on whether he expected to be drafted, but would opt for whichever was the best situation for me.

“It’s just the best opportunity, which one is the best situation for me,” he said. “I’ve just got to think about it with my family.”

It’s a strong likelihood that if Alvarado weren’t among the 60 selections, he would be offered a chance to play on a Summer League team, which would be a door toward making an NBA roster in a training camp as an undrafted rookie. Pastner said that he didn’t think that going to Europe to play professionally was part of Alvarado’s thinking at present.

“He’s either going to stay in the draft or go to Georgia Tech,” Pastner said. “Those are his two options.”

Pastner said that he and Alvarado have spoken frequently as the ACC defensive player of the year has tested the draft waters, but that he has sought to remain neutral and give Alvarado the space to make the decision for himself.

“Our conversations aren’t based around should he come back or not because I want him focused to try to make it this year,” Pastner said. “And now we’re at the point where he’s got to gather his information and make a decision.”

Pastner guessed that Alvarado will make his final decision – which will require him to inform the NBA that he is withdrawing from the draft – “darn close” to the deadline.