SALT LAKE CITY — Kevin Garnett is in town for Wednesday night's Nets-Jazz game, so it’s not shocking that trash-talking was a topic at Utah’s practice Tuesday morning.
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin didn’t want to talk about Garnett’s talking.
“He’s a top-10 performer in my book,” Corbin said. “Talking is part of it. I love the way he competes.”
Gordon Hayward gave a surprising answer when asked about trash-talking and Garnett.
“There was a play — I think it was last year — where he was talking and I hit a jump shot in his face,” Hayward recalled. “I think I might have said some words after that one, but I normally don’t say anything.”
Hayward admitted he runs his mouth while playing video games. Seeing how he didn’t divulge what he said in that NBA game, we’ll have to guess the mild-mannered Hayward told Garnett something like, “Sorry, Mario. Your princess is in another castle” or “Wakka wakka wakka.”
Hayward laughed when asked what it would take him to get to Garnett’s talking level.
“I don’t even know what I’d need to have happen,” he said. “I really don’t ever say very much. I just let my game do the talking.”
In other words, don't expect Hayward to scream "Pwned!" after making a basket against the Nets.
RUMOR MILL: The NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 1 p.m. MST, but things are quiet for now on the Jazz front. Hayward is coveted by the Boston Celtics and the former Butler star’s old coach, Brad Stevens, according to a Comcast SportsNet New England report.
“It would appear the one thing that might nudge Utah towards giving serious thought to dealing Hayward would be if the Celtics were willing to part with at least one of their stockpiled first-round picks,” Celtics Insider A. Sherrod Blakely wrote.
“But two league sources, both having had recent conversations with the Celtics, told CSNNE.com on Tuesday that Boston is ‘very reluctant’ to part with any of their first-round picks in facilitating a deal.”
HEALTH REPORT: Derrick Favors participated in practice Monday and Tuesday, but the Jazz center is a game-time decision against the Nets because of a sprained right hip. Small forward Richard Jefferson did not practice Tuesday because of a stomach illness. His status is uncertain.