Lakers 2015-16 Schedule: Top Games, Championship Odds and Record Predictions

The Los Angeles Lakers are still very much a franchise in transition, but there is legitimate optimism in the air after drafting D'Angelo Russell with the second overall pick and getting last year's first-round pick, Julius Randle, back healthy. 

There's also the maybe-but-not-definite last season for Kobe Bryant, who is entering the final year of his contract. Because of youth and big roster holes, the 2015-16 Lakers aren't likely to make a playoff push in the loaded Western Conference. 

Yet it's hard to deny the Lakers will be more interesting this season than they were during last year's disastrous 21-61 effort. 

Russell, who didn't look strong during the NBA Summer League by shooting 37.7 percent with 26 turnovers in five games, will be the key player to watch for Los Angeles this season. 

Lakers head coach Byron Scott told Fox Sports after summer league that Russell's struggles could end up being a good thing for his development:

Sometimes when you come out here and you're the No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 pick, you expect to come out here and tear the league up. When guys kind of eat your lunch every now in then, it brings you back down to earth and lets you know that you still have a long way to go.  In the long run, this might be the best thing that ever happened to him.

Yet even when Russell was going through those summer struggles, there were still moments that showed his ability to create plays for teammates. Take a look at this highlight from a game against the Dallas Mavericks, per NBA on Twitter:

Because the Lakers are built on young players, with two expensive exceptions in Bryant and Roy Hibbert, the oddsmakers have listed them at 100-1 to win an NBA title, per Odds Shark. That puts them ahead of teams like the New York Knicks (150-1) and Orlando Magic (250-1).  

In addition to developing young players, the La...

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