Pelicans Undrafted Rookie Earns Four-Year Deal


The New Orleans Pelicans have converted guard Jose Alvarado's two-way contract to a 4-year, $6.5 million deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The deal includes a guaranteed $3.4 million over the next two years.

After spending four years in college putting up a respectable 13.5 points per game for Georgia Tech, Alvarado declared for the NBA Draft last spring, ultimately going undrafted. The Pelicans took a flyer on the 23-year-old, undersized guard, and signed him to the initial two-way deal in July. Following a solid Summer League outing and some time in the G League, he's managed to carve out a role in the Pelicans rotation and hasn't looked back. 

Averaging 6.2 points, 2.8 assists and 1.8 rebounds in just 15.3 minutes per game this season, Alvarado has made the most of the opportunity the Pelicans presented him with. Stats aside, teammates and coaches of his have continued to show their appreciation for what he and his chip-on-shoulder mentality bring to the table. "Jose came in and gave us an amazing spark," Pelicans veteran Garrett Temple, who also went undrafted, said of Alvarado back in January. "That is why he has been able to crack the rotation... No matter what he does offensively in terms of points, he is able to bring that energy and pace." 

"Whenever he touches the floor, good things happen," Head Coach Willie Green said. "He brings energy, he defends... We see a ton of positives from him."

Now inking a deal that will keep him in the NBA for at least three more years, Alvarado joins a slew of players who have found success in the NBA after going undrafted, a trend that seems to have picked up steam as of late. Christian Wood, Lu Dort, Alex Caruso, Seth Curry, Duncan Robinson and Joe Ingles are just a few of the 50+ current players who began undrafted and are now signed to NBA rosters, and with the results players like these are producing, we can only expect teams to continue searching for talent beyond the draft.

Perhaps the most notable player included in this wave of undrafted talent is Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, who was signed by Toronto following the 2016 draft, and is now an NBA champion, 1-time All-Star, and holds the largest contract ever earned by an undrafted player. VanVleet made sure to pay his dues and took to Twitter to congratulate Alvarado on his new deal.

With the playoffs right around the corner and the Pelicans currently holding the final play-in spot in the Western Conference, they will continue to look for a spark off of the bench from the newly-signed guard. Alvarado's hard-nosed hustle has been a cornerstone of their bench unit and will be much needed down the final stretch.

And now that he'll be staying put for the foreseeable future, let's hope that the Pelicans can have him mic'd up a few more times, so we can get more legendary clips like this one:

Photo Credit: © Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports