I think DK is serious. The Clippers have several shooters, a shot blocking centre in Jordan, and good depth - much like New Orleans in 2008. And both teams have/had Paul. I agree with DK that Paul is a franchise player, and he's the guy that makes the Clippers go. Griffin is an excellent player, but he's not like Paul, who makes everyone around him better and can dominant games in a lot of different ways. A franchise player isn't the one who makes the flashiest plays - he's the guy who drives the team and leads them to wins. Paul does that more than Griffin IMO.
And look at the Clippers' record with and without Paul. With Paul, they are 10-4. Without him, they went 3-2 - and two of those wins were against Toronto and Utah.
I think Howard is a franchise player. He dominates at both ends of the court. Offensively, teams have to double team him on offence which leads to wide-open shots. Defensively, his teammates can play aggressively on the perimeter knowing that Howard is the last line of defence.
I think Nash, Garnett, and Pierce were at one time franchise players, but no longer. Much like Tim Duncan, father time has caught up to them. All these players can dominate a game, but they can no longer do it for an entire season.
Nowitzki should be mentioned as a franchise player. Maybe not so much this year, but he has been in the past. He's the heart and soul of the Mavericks.