Before NBA free agency opened up, the Houston Rockets seemed poised to blow it up and kickstart a rebuild. Both Russell Westbrook and James Harden have expressed the desire to be traded and leave Houston but as of right now, they're both still Rockets.

On the daily Locked On Rockets Podcast, host Jackson Gatlin explains why the Rockets are content with running it back despite Russell Westbrook and James Harden's trade preferences and why the Rockets are actually a better team now than they were last year.

Jackson Gatlin: There are still questions surrounding Russell Westbrook and James Harden but basically it looks like the Rockets are very content running it back and doing the #LetsGetUncomfortable thing. They're going to run it back, they're going to have those guys show up to training camp, and do so with a better team. Rafael Stone is doing a phenomenal job of positioning this team to be competitive this season, to have a shot again in the playoffs, and at a title. They still have Harden and Westbrook still on their squad and they've upgraded with Christian Wood. These are also moves that benefit the future of the franchise. These are moves that… should a package present itself that is adequate and that meets the demands of Rafael Stone and the organization then they can pull the trigger on a Harden trade or a Russ trade and have adequate assets back to be able to jumpstart a more traditional rebuild for the Rockets. Right now, they're still a very talented team.

I would say that this team as presently constructed is more talented than they were going into the season last year because Christian Wood is a better more dynamic fit for this team than Clint Capela was and a better more dynamic fit for this team than Robert Covington was. He is going to do great things with this team.