The 7-foot-3 center from Connecticut was the second pick in the draft. Thabeet is due to make about $7.7 million over two years under the rookie salary scale.
Thabeet is the first Tanzanian-born player drafted by an NBA team. He averaged 13.6 points, nearly 11 rebounds and four blocks per game at UConn last season and was named Big East co-player of the year.
Thabeet is also second on the Big East's all-time blocked shots list behind Patrick Ewing.