A record-high 185 underclass draft prospects (i.e., players with remaining college eligibility) had declared themselves for eligibility at the April 24 deadline (138 of them being from college), although college players who had not hired agents or signed professional contracts outside the NBA were able to decide to return to college by May 24, 10 days after the end of the NBA Draft Combine. These players have publicly indicated that they have hired agents, or had planned to do so around the start of the draft; those who hired agents immediately lost their eligibility to return to NCAA basketball in 2017–18. By the end of the May 24 deadline, 73 draft candidates from college decided to return to their respective colleges for at least another year, leaving 64 underclassmen to officially enter the draft this year. Additionally, two more players left entry at the end of the international player deadline, meaning both Maverick Rowan from North Carolina State and Darin Johnson from Cal State Northridge would not return for college, but one player managed to enter the college underclassman deadline, thus leaving 63 entries at hand for the NBA Draft.
The NBA annually invites around 15–20 players to sit in the so-called "green room", a special room set aside at the draft site for the invited players plus their families and agents. When their names are called, the player leaves the room and goes up on stage. Other players who are not invited are allowed to attend the ceremony. They sit in the stands with the fans and walk up on stage when (or if) they are drafted. 10 players were invited to the 2017 NBA draft on June 8, with three more of them being invited two days later. The following players (listed alphabetically) were confirmed as invites for the event this year.