The future looked bright for the Los Angeles Lakers last offseason when they signed superstar LeBron James, but things could not be much worse for them right now. Their odds of making the playoffs, even as the eighth seed in the Western Conference, are precariously low.

Making things more difficult is the prolonged absence of 2017’s second overall draft pick, Lonzo Ball. The young point guard has missed more than a dozen games since January after he suffered an ankle sprain. Unfortunately for the Lakers, head coach Luke Walton told the Los Angeles Times that he does not know when Ball will play again.

“Nope, [the trainers] haven’t given me a date,” Walton said. “They just said they are working with him and they’ll let me know.”

GettyImages-1084007542 Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles as Collin Sexton #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers defends during the first half of a game at Staples Center on January 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Ball averaged 9.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game in the games he played this season. While his numbers are not eye-popping, he might still be an upgrade over veteran Rajon Rondo.

ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus stat measures the positive or negative impact a player makes on his team while on the court. Ball’s rating of +0.03 is not exactly sterling, but it is significantly better than Rondo’s rating of -2.39. Put simply, Ball does not make much of an impact either way according to that stat, but Rondo makes a noticeably negative impact.

Ball was a major part of the drama surrounding the Lakers’ failed pursuit of Anthony Davis at the trade deadline. His father LaVar came back into the media spotlight in the weeks leading up to the deadline, claiming he would rather see Lonzo play in Phoenix instead of LA.

At 29-31, the Lakers sit in the 11th spot in the Western Conference standings. Even the LA Clippers and Sacramento Kings appear more likely to make the playoffs than the Lakers, something few would have predicted after James left Cleveland for LA.

The Lakers are only 3-7 in their last 10 games. Even with James on the court, they have lost two straight games against the lowly Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans.