New Orleans Pelicans general manager Dell Demps pulled off perhaps the biggest deal of his three-year tenure. He just couldn't talk about it.

Demps drafted Kentucky center Nerlens Noel sixth overall and promptly shipped him and a first-round pick in 2014 to the Philadelphia 76ers for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday and a second-round pick Thursday night.

Demps can't comment on the deal until it is officially approved by the NBA about July 11, when the league's new fiscal year starts. But Holiday's agent, Tony Dutt, confirmed the trade.

The Pelican's first-round pick sent to Philadelphia is protected if it fall from Nos. 1-5, meaning the Pelicans retain it if it's in the top five. The Pelicans also acquired the rights to point guard Pierre Jackson out of Baylor, who was drafted with the 42nd pick in the second round by the 76ers.

Holiday, 23, was an All-Star last season in the Eastern Conference after averaging 17.7 points and 8.0 assists. Holiday, 6 feet 4, 205 pounds, is considered to be one of the quickest guards in the league.

Pelicans shooting guard Eric Gordon welcomed Holiday by tweeting, "Jrue will be great for us, very excited.''

But the surprising trade appeared to catch Noel off guard after he was initially selected by the Pelicans. While backstage at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Noel said he was looking forward to playing for the Pelicans and with Anthony Davis, last year's top pick who also attended Kentucky. Then when he was told he was traded to 76ers, Noel said he looked forward to playing with Holiday, not knowing the point guard was going to the Pelicans.

"Whenever a player's injured, sometimes he can fall," Demps said of Noel, who was projected to be the top overall pick, which Cleveland surprisingly used on Anthony Bennett of UNLV. "We had him pretty high (on their board).