The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in the Zion Williamson Sweepstakes now that they are 5.5 games out of the No.8 seed with 18 games left on the regular-season schedule. In fact, LeBron James might be more likely to play alongside the Duke star than he is to compete in the 2019 NBA playoffs.

Only 11 teams have a worse record than the Lakers, giving them a 1.3 percent chance to win the NBA Draft Lottery. Now that three teams and almost six games stand in the way of Los Angeles and the postseason, ESPN’s Basketball Power Index gives L.A. less than a one percent chance to make the playoffs.

The Lakers all by fell out of playoff contention Monday with a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers are six games ahead of the Lakers for the West’s No.7 seed. The San Antonio Spurs have the No.8 seed and the tiebreaker over the Lakers.

An increasingly difficult schedule makes it hard to fathom that the Lakers will be able to dig themselves out of the hole they’ve created for themselves. Even with James returning from his groin injury, the team has struggled. Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball are all now dealing with injuries.

James has pushed back against the idea of shutting himself down for the rest of the season, but it’s certainly going to become an option for Los Angeles when they fall further out of the playoff race. Doing so would prevent the veteran from adding any more mileage on his body, and he’s played into June for the majority of his NBA career.

The Lakers were never going to compete for a championship this season after they failed to acquire a second All-Star last summer. They’ll look to pair another star with James this offseason, whether it be by trading for Anthony Davis or signing a free agent to a max contract.

Sitting James down the stretch of the regular season wouldn’t only increase the Lakers’ odds to land Williamson. It would also give them a better shot to trade for Davis. A pick near the top of the draft could make Los Angeles’ offer to the New Orleans Pelicans seem much more appealing than it did before the trade deadline.

The Lakers are highly unlikely to win the lottery, no matter what happens in the remainder of the season. If Los Angeles drops a few more spots in the standings and finishes with the eighth-worst record, they would still only have a six percent chance to get the No.1 overall pick.

Williamson is the consensus No.1 prospect heading into the draft. On the off chance that the Lakers do win the lottery, they might look to trade that selection for Davis.