I think he can. I've been watching him closely in the Olympics, and Coach K has been playing him heavily at the 3. I know, it's a different game, but not so much on the perimeter as it is in the post. Harden is definitely big enough to guard most NBA SFs - save Durant and LeBron, but nobody can guard them 1-1 anyway. He is an elite off-the-ball player, and he will fit in perfectly with Gordon and Rivers, who like the ball in their hands more. Harden is a great shooter and a great passer. He has crazy hops and a gigantic wingspan (over 6'10).
I think we go after him in FA next off season. He fits in perfectly with the age group we are going for, and we definitely have the cap space to do so. Since OKC has to choose between him and Ibaka, and since they already have 2 perimeter players and desperately need a post presence, I think Ibaka is the obvious choice. Do an S&T with OKC so that they get a little something in return for Harden, perhaps Henry and our 1st round pick? The trade can be quite lopsided because we are far enough under the cap to absorb his contract.
Harden will cost $13.668 million, assuming we sign him to the same max deal we signed Gordon to. Add in Gordon ($14.3 million), Anderson ($8.3 million), Davis ($5.4 million), Lopez ($5 million), Aminu ($3.7 million), JSmith ($2.5 million), Rivers ($2.3 million), and Vasquez ($2.15 million), and the total comes up to $57.3 million. That is under the projected $58-60 million dollar salary cap.
PG - Vasquez, Rivers
SG - Gordon, Rivers
SF - Harden, Aminu, Miller
PF - Davis, Anderson, JSmith
C - Anderson, Lopez, JSmith
Add a few vets to fill out the roster. We still have the MLE and the Bi-Annual I believe. Plus the veteran minimum.