He's got my vote. He was consistently a top 6-7 player of his era, for several years. He built his reputation on the highlight reel stuff, but would be remembered for a more versatile, nuanced game if he'd spent most of his career with a more competitive franchise. He led the Hawks to a few 50-win seasons, but I assume the reason he's not a shoo-in for the HoF is because his teams never really contended. I'm not sure that he can be blamed for that. Who did he play with? Kevin Willis, Doc Rivers...no slouches, in their heydays, but not McHale/Parish or Kareem/Worthy either. Wilkins had a deadly post-up game, and became a very proficient rebounder as his career developed. He was one of the game's most dominant scorers, who was (generally) very competitive and a much underrated clutch scorer. He definitely belongs in the Hall in my book.
for some stupid reason, and it's not just the basketball hall of fame, voters have this thing about 1st year eligible inductions. nique will get in next year - they just sent him a message that he wasn't THAT great.
I'm not really sure what voters are thinking, ever. How are some people not unanimous? How is a Larry Bird or a Hank Aaron not a unanimous Hall of Famer? What's the thought process by those voters who don't vote for such people?
Wilkins definitely deserves to be in. I don't know if voters consciously left him off their ballot "to send a message" or whether some voters honestly were conflicted over whether he's a Hall of Famer. But, as I've said before, he's not an upper-tier Hall of Famer, so all the matters is that he gets in eventually, which I'm sure he will. It's not all that amazing that he could fail to reach on his first try.