Payne, Capela Headline Wednesday's Workout

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

WALTHAM, Mass. –Adreian Payne (Michigan State) and Clint Capela (Switzerland), two of the most highly regarded big men in this year’s NBA Draft, participated in a workout Wednesday morning at the Celtics practice facility. Those who were in the gym made it sound as if Boston’s front office got a great look at each player.

Draft workouts can be a bit mundane, especially for players who have already worked out for multiple teams. Each team puts the players through a myriad of drills to test their skill and conditioning levels. On Wednesday, however, the Celtics opted to get an extended look at how these players fared in live action.

Clint Capela

Clint Capela is one of the six players who participated in Wednesday morning's Celtics workout.
Getty Images

“This one was more matchups, more one-on-one,” Capela said, comparing today’s workout to those he had previously completed for other teams. “So I think this one was the better one to show what you can do as an individual.”

Eric Moreland, a 6-foot-10 forward out of Oregon State who was also a participant on Wednesday, agreed with Capela’s assessment. He had already worked out for five other teams but said that Boston’s workout featured the most live action. Moreland formed his own opinion as to why the Celtics chose to put the players through such a workout.

“They want to see where your heart is at, where your will is at,” said Moreland, who averaged 8.9 points per game and 10.3 rebounds per game last season. “Each workout is competitive. I feel like this workout is probably one of the hardest that I’ve had, but it’s what we signed up for.”

Moreland stands as the best source for what took place on the court Wednesday morning. Danny Ainge and his staff certainly won’t be revealing the notes they took on Payne, Capela and the rest of the six-player group, but Moreland was more than willing to give his own scouting report on the two stars of the day.

“[Capela’s] very long, athletic and has a motor as well. He’s young and he’ll continue to get better,” said Moreland, who also worked out with Capela in Memphis. “Adreian Payne, same thing. Really talented. Can stretch the floor.”

Those talents were on full display as the players went through one-on-one games, three-on-three games and pick-and-roll drills. Payne and Capela looked so good that they seemingly left UMass Lowell point guard Akeem Williams in awe.

“I come from a small Division I (school), so our centers are probably 6-7,” Williams said with a laugh. “Our centers aren’t that big, so having the opportunity to play with someone [their] size, it makes my job a lot easier.”

That type of impact is what intrigues the Celtics and the rest of the NBA when it comes to guys like Payne and Capela. Their abilities can change the game both for their teammates and for the opponent.

On Wednesday, Danny Ainge and his talent evaluators got a first hand look at just how impactful each player can be. No wonder why this workout was less about the drills and more about the matchups.