it's all about bringing in new meat.
no, it's about winning championships. and I feel like keeping Harden gives them a greater chance at that in 2013 than what a trade for the #2 pick might bring. of course, their FO may think differently (and somebody may make them a deal that makes sense).
Chances are, the OKC FO already has a pretty good idea on what they plan to do with Harden.
no doubt there, Presti's wired that way.
If they don't plan on keeping, why not trade him for something valuable like the second pick instead of letting him walk for nothing?
see my above comment on winning rings.
also, I think the whole "lose him for nothing" talk can be overblown in certain instances, this being one. if he leaves but you got a ring or 2 with him, you got good value, you still have the core of a championship contender, life will go on. this ain't Durant leaving, or Shaq leaving Orlando.