The Detroit Pistons will be the first to tell you the NBA is a business.

But that didn't make it any easier to see two of their teammates, Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye, sent packing in a pregame trade before Wednesday's 98-79 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

"It's tough," said eighth-year forward Jason Maxiell, who has the longest tenure with the Pistons now that Prince is gone. "Tay was here 11 years and I've been here eight years. The whole time I was here I was used to playing with him.

"He has my back and I have his back. It's hard not to see him back there. There's some emotion but at the same time it's a business. Teams make changes to get to a championship and that's what they're doing with Tayshaun.

"It goes back to being a business."

Prince was the last on-court link to the Pistons' 2004 championship team.

He was in his second NBA season when the Pistons beat the Lakers in the 2004 NBA Finals and has been somebody many of his former teammates looked up to over the years when they broke into pro basketball.

Learning shortly before tipoff against the Pacers that Prince and Daye had been traded sucked some of the life out of the Pistons locker room.

"It did," admitted guard Rodney Stuckey. "At the end of the day it's a business. We've just got to be ready and be prepared for any situation thrown at you. Austin and Tayshaun will definitely go to Memphis and fit into their system very well. I know they're excited for the next chapter of their lives.