Jose Alvarado

Pelicans Notes: Alvarado, Nance, Zion, Big Three

Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado and forward/center Larry Nance Jr. won’t be able to participate in training camp next week, the team announced in a press release on Thursday.

According to the team, Alvarado is expected to resume basketball activities in approximately two or three weeks after spraining his right ankle during an offseason workout. Alvarado’s ankle injury was reported earlier this month.

As for Nance, he received a biologic injection to stimulate the healing process in his left ankle, according to the Pelicans. Nance, who missed the final game of New Orleans’ 2022/23 season (a play-in loss to the Thunder), is expected to make a full recovery before the ’23/24 season begins, per the team, and should also return to basketball activities in two or three weeks.

Here’s more on the Pelicans:

  • Andrew Lopez of explores what the Pelicans should expect from Zion Williamson in 2023/24, citing multiple sources who say the former No. 1 overall pick was playing pickup games with teammates earlier this month and that he has been working with trainers this summer to get his lower body ready for the 82-game season.
  • Lopez also writes that some people around the Pelicans organization are hoping that the embarrassment from being at the center of some off-court drama this summer will provide extra motivation for Williamson to have a big year on the court.
  • Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and CJ McCollum have only been on the court for 172 minutes together as Pelicans. William Guillory of The Athletic considers what the club should expect from its big three, assuming they stay healthy.
  • The odds of Giannis Antetokounmpo remaining with the Bucks beyond his current contract look better following the club’s trade for Damian Lillard. However, if things go south in Milwaukee, the Pelicans stand to benefit, notes Christian Clark of As a result of 2020’s Jrue Holiday trade, the Bucks still owe the Pelicans first-round pick swaps in 2024 and 2026, along with an unprotected first-rounder in 2027. New Orleans would also get Milwaukee’s 2025 first-rounder if it lands in the top four, which is a long shot.

Jose Alvarado Has Ankle Sprain, Could Miss Camp Time

Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado suffered a ankle sprain during a workout this weekend and his availability for training camp is in doubt, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Alvarado is entering his third season in the league. He’s one of the key backcourt reserves for New Orleans, which is looking to bounce back from an injury-marred season.

Alvarado suffered a stress reaction in his right tibia in February and he was still feeling discomfort earlier this summer. His minimum-salary contract for 2023/24 is fully non-guaranteed, though it’s unlikely his roster spot is in danger.

Listed at 6’0″, Alvarado appeared in 61 games last season, including 10 starts. He averaged 9.0 points, 3.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 21.5 minutes per game. He saw action in 54 regular season games as a rookie after going undrafted out of Georgia Tech.

Alvarado isn’t a serious three-point threat (32.2%) but he’s a pesky defender and a solid floor leader. He’s only committed an average of 1.1 turnovers in 18.6 minutes during his two seasons.

Training camps will open in a little more than two weeks.

Pelicans Notes: Williamson, Ingram, Alvarado, Lewis

William Guillory and John Hollinger of The Athletic take stock of where things stand for the Pelicans entering 2023/24, with both writers noting that it will be a critical season for the organization.

New Orleans doesn’t have much choice but to see whether or not a core of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram can be successful together, according to Hollinger, despite the duo only playing 12 games together over the past two seasons. However, he would seriously consider trading one of them next summer if the team has another disappointing season.

As Guillory points out, the Pelicans will be facing salary cap difficulties in both the short and long term, so the pressure entering ’23/24 will be much higher than in previous years. Finding a replacement at center for Jonas Valanciunas, who is entering the final year of his contract, should be a priority going forward if the team doesn’t plan to retain him, according to both authors.

Here’s more on the Pelicans:

  • Technology company Ankr PBC has filed a civil lawsuit against Williamson, his stepfather and his mother, writes Brett Martel of The Associated Press. The lawsuit alleges Williamson and his family failed to pay back $1.8MM of a $2MM loan. Ankr had hoped Williamson would be a spokesperson for the company, with his stepfather, Lee Anderson, serving as his representative during negotiations, per Martel. Anderson is the person who requested the loan a couple years ago, the lawsuit states.
  • Jose Alvarado is still recovering from the stress reaction in his right tibia, which he sustained in February, and the injury will prevent him from representing Puerto Rico during the upcoming World Cup, according to Andrew Lopez of ESPN. Pelicans sources tell Lopez that the move is precautionary, but it certainly seems somewhat problematic that a recent MRI indicated Alvarado’s tibia isn’t fully healed after five months. The point guard’s minimum-salary contract for 2023/24 is fully non-guaranteed, as we noted earlier today. That’s not to say he’s in any danger of being released — prior to going down with the leg injury, he was a regular part of the Pelicans’ rotation, averaging 9.0 points, 3.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 21.5 minutes per night (61 games).
  • Former lottery pick Kira Lewis remains a trade candidate worth monitoring, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who notes that dumping Lewis’ salary would take New Orleans out of luxury tax territory. The 22-year-old returned from a torn ACL last season, averaging 4.6 points and 1.3 rebounds in limited action (9.4 minutes per night in 25 games).

Pelicans’ Jose Alvarado Out At Least One More Week

The Pelicans issued a formal injury update on Jose Alvarado on Tuesday, announcing in a press release that the second-year guard has been cleared to resume on-court basketball activities.

However, according to executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin, Alvarado has been ruled out for New Orleans’ play-in game vs. Oklahoma City on Wednesday and isn’t expected to play for at least one more week.

Alvarado has been on the shelf since February 27 due to a stress reaction in his right tibia. Prior to going down with that injury, he was a regular part of the Pelicans’ rotation, averaging 9.0 points, 3.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 21.5 minutes per night (61 games).

Given that the Pelicans’ season could be over as soon as tomorrow night, there’s certainly no guarantee we’ll see Alvarado again this spring. However, if New Orleans can win a pair of play-in games, it sounds like the former Georgia Tech standout – who turns 25 on Wednesday – would have a chance to return in the team’s first-round series vs. Denver.

This update, along with the latest report on Zion Williamson‘s injury recovery, which we relayed earlier today, suggests that Alvarado may be ahead of Williamson in their respective return timelines.

Zion Williamson, Jose Alvarado Out At Least Two More Weeks

If Pelicans star Zion Williamson is going to return to action before the postseason begins, it will have to happen during the final week of the regular season. The team announced today that Williamson has been cleared to resume on-court activities, but will be out at least two more weeks before being reevaluated (Twitter link).

Williamson has been sidelined since January 2 due to a right hamstring strain, having suffered a setback during his rehab process. While the fact that he’s doing on-court work is a positive sign, two weeks from today would be April 5 and the regular season ends on April 9. So even if he gets the OK to return when he’s reevaluated in two weeks, the former No. 1 pick won’t be able to play in more than two or three games.

The Pelicans will wrap up their season with home games vs. Memphis (April 5) and New York (April 7), followed by a road contest in Minnesota (April 9). At 35-37, New Orleans currently holds the No. 12 spot in the Western Conference, but is only a single game back of the seventh-seeded Thunder. Those final three games could determine whether or not the Pels make the play-in tournament.

In addition to being without Williamson for at least two more weeks, the Pelicans will also continue to have another important rotation player unavailable during that time. According to the team, guard Jose Alvarado will be reevaluated in about two or three weeks.

Alvarado has been on the shelf since February 27 due to a stress reaction in his right tibia. According to today’s announcement, he has shown “incremental improvement.” However, it sounds like he may be a long shot to return before the regular season wraps up.

If the Pelicans can earn a playoff spot, either via the play-in tournament or by finishing as a top-six seed in the regular season, there would be a clearer path for both Williamson and Alvarado to potentially return, since the first round will run into late April. The club has had an inconsistent second half though, so even securing a play-in berth could be an uphill battle at this point.

Pelicans’ Jose Alvarado, Larry Nance Jr. Out Multiple Weeks

Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado and forward Larry Nance Jr. will be sidelined multiple weeks, the team announced in a press release.

Alvarado has been diagnosed with a stress reaction in his right tibia. He will be reevaluated in three weeks. Alvarado has appeared in 61 games this season, averaging 9.0 points and 3.0 assists in 21.5 minutes. He played 15 minutes against Orlando on Monday.

Nance Jr., who suffered a left ankle sprain during Saturday’s game at New York, will be reevaluated in two weeks. Nance has appeared in 50 games, averaging 7.7 points and 5.9 rebounds in 22.3 minutes.

Zion Williamson continues to make progress with rehabilitation for his right hamstring strain, according to the release. Further updates will be provided following medical imaging next week. Williamson hasn’t played since Jan. 2.

Alvarado’s injury opens up more playing time for Kira Lewis Jr. and Dyson Daniels. Jaxson Hayes, who played 25 minutes against Orlando, will likely absorb most of Nance’s minutes.

NBA Announces Player Pool For Rising Stars Event

The NBA officially unveiled the 28-player pool for this year’s Rising Stars event on Tuesday, making the announcement via the NBA App. The following players made the cut:



G League players:

As was the case last season, the Rising Stars event will consist of four teams and three games. The seven G League players will comprise one team, coached by longtime NBA guard Jason Terry. The other 21 players will be drafted to three squads coached by former NBA stars Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, and Deron Williams.

The four teams will be split into two first-round matchups and the winners of those two games will face one another for the Rising Stars championship. The two semifinals will be played to a target score of 40 points, while the final will be played to a target score of 25 points.

All three contests will take place on Friday, February 17 as part of All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City. The NBA’s full press release with more information on the event can be found right here.

Southwest Notes: D. Green, Kemba, Pelicans, K. Martin

Appearing on NBA Today on Friday alongside Grizzlies wing Danny Green, who is recovering from an ACL tear, Brian Windhorst said that his fellow panelist might end up being a trade chip before February’s deadline.

“This is awkward, I’m sorry to say this, Danny,” Windhorst said (YouTube video link). “… One of the (trade possibilities) that people are talking about is if the Grizzlies want to upgrade, will they call about Danny Green and a draft pick? … I do think you will hear your name, I’m sorry to say, in some trade discussions.”

“I’m not shocked. At this point in my career, I hear my name quite often,” Green, who has been traded four times since the 2018 offseason, responded with a smile.

While it would make sense for the Grizzlies to dangle Green’s expiring $10MM contract along with a draft pick or two in an effort to upgrade their rotation, Windhorst also offered a couple reasons why a deal might not happen. As he points out, Memphis wants veteran leaders to complement its young core, and Green has won three championship rings. Additionally, the club has a solid record in the draft and may be reluctant to part with its picks.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • With several Mavericks regulars sidelined, point guard Kemba Walker played 42 minutes in Saturday’s loss to Cleveland and looked like his old self. Walker put up 32 points and seven assists and was a plus-7 in a game Dallas lost by a single point, then told reporters after the game that he felt “really good out there” (Twitter link via Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News). While they shouldn’t expect that sort of production on a regular basis, Walker’s impressive play could be a significant development for the Mavs, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.
  • The Pelicans no longer have All-Defensive mainstays like Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis on their roster, but homegrown players like Naji Marshall, Jose Alvarado, Herb Jones and Dyson Daniels are buoying one of the NBA’s best defenses, writes Christian Clark of (subscription required). New Orleans currently ranks sixth in the league in defensive rating (109.7).
  • In an in-depth story for The Houston Chronicle (subscription required), Danielle Lerner profiles Kenyon Martin Jr. and explores how the forward has become a crucial “glue guy” for the Rockets. “He’s always been like a smart player, but I think he’s even smarter now,” head coach Stephen Silas said of Martin. “You know he’s not gonna make a mistake. He knows where he’s supposed to be. When it comes to defensive coverages or offensive plays, he’s usually in the right spot. And, you know, he is one of the guys that kind of gets us going with our transition game as well. So to have someone who’s running the floor and crashing the glass and using all this athleticism, but also a cerebral player, that makes him valuable.”

Pelicans Notes: Alvarado, Hunt, Record, Green

Jose Alvarado‘s contract hasn’t been fully guaranteed but the Pelicans might as well do it sooner than later after his 38-point explosion on Sunday. Alvarado set a franchise record for a reserve in his outburst against Denver and admits he didn’t envision having this kind of impact, according to Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times Picayune.

“I would be lying if I said when I was a kid I thought this was how it’s going to be,” Alvarado said. “It’s something I can’t really explain.”

Alvarado’s $1.56MM salary for 2022/23 isn’t fully guaranteed until Jan. 10 and his $1,836,096 salary for next season is also non-guaranteed. He has become one of the league’s biggest bargains.

“I tell him all the time, ‘Jose, be yourself. When you are yourself, you are our X-factor,'” forward Zion Williamson said. “You bring energy. When we need runs, you’re there for us.”

We have more on the Pelicans:

  • New Orleans’ G League affiliate, the Birmingham Squadron, has acquired Feron Hunt from the Westchester Knicks in exchange for Justin Wright-Foreman, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News tweets. Hunt was on a two-way deal with the Knicks until he was waived last week.
  • The Pelicans entered this week’s action with a 15-8 mark and their record is even better than it seems at face value, William Guillory of The Athletic writes. They rank sixth in points scored per 100 possessions and third in points allowed per 100 possessions — only Boston and Phoenix have better net ratings.
  • Quality depth has made injuries an unacceptable excuse in coach Willie Green‘s mind, Guillory writes in the same piece. “When guys go down, I’ve said it before, we don’t look at it as an obstacle. For us, it’s an opportunity to go out and continue to grow as a team. Continue to build,” Green said. “Our expectations are high. We’re not there yet, but we’re continuing to build towards where we want to be.”

Southwest Notes: Alvarado, Ingram, Kidd, Collins

Pelicans reserve point guard Jose Alvarado has evolved into an important contributor for New Orleans in his second season, writes Will Guillory of The Athletic in an extensive feature. Guillory notes that Alvarado provides the Pelicans with a burst of energy in his minutes off the bench, especially on defense.

“A lot of people told me that the sophomore year is a slump year for some guys,” Alvarado told Guillory in an interview. “I wanted people to say, ‘Oh, he improved. What else can he do?’ … Obviously, the GTAs and playing defense is who I am. I accept that. But I’m also a complete basketball player. I can be a great point guard. I’m a knockdown shooter. I think there are a lot of things I can do on the court to help this team.”

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Pelicans All-Star small forward Brandon Ingram is considered day-to-day with a left big toe contusion, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link). Lopez adds that imaging indicated the ailing digit had incurred no serious structural damage.
  • The 9-9 Mavericks have lost three straight games, but the team is striving to stay focused, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Dallas is currently 1-6 in its road games, and will play an excellent Bucks club in Milwaukee on Sunday in the second game in a back-to-back set. The club has struggled mightily from long range. “We’re able to get into the paint,” head coach Jason Kidd noted. “We’re able to get to the rim and finish. But right now we’re just not shooting the ball straight.” 
  • Spurs reserve center Zach Collins was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected from Saturday’s 143-138 loss to the visiting Lakers after he hit L.A. point guard Russell Westbrook in the head while fighting for a rebound. Per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News, the impact was not deliberate. “I shouldn’t have jumped on the pump fake, but I did,” Collins said. “And then the worst thing you can do is give up an and-one in that situation, so I was just trying to come down and hit his arm so the ball wouldn’t get up to the rim.”