Brandon Jennings is 18 months removed from Achilles tendon surgery, but he could turn into the Knicks’ most economical, smart free-agent move, especially if something bad happens to Derrick Rose’s knees.

Knicks president Phil Jackson expects Jennings to quell the skeptics and win an award.

“When I talked to Phil, he said he expects me to be Sixth Man of the Year,’’ Jennings said at Friday’s free-agent press conference. “So I’m definitely going to embrace that role. I don’t see why I can’t be in that conversation and I’m fine with it.’’

Jennings, who signed for one year and $5 million, is Rose’s caddie, but was one of the league’s young, explosive scoring point guards in his first six seasons. The Post reported he wanted a one-year deal to prove himself and lift his market value for next summer’s free agency. He returned from surgery Dec. 29 with Detroit, got traded to Orlando in February and looked ragged.

“People only remember the last they’ve seen of you,’’ Jennings said of his low demand as a free agent. “The injury did kind of take a toll on me. Achilles, I was out for the whole year, came back midseason and I played pretty well a little bit, got traded. So it was all just up and down. I’m just happy for a fresh start.”

“I definitely have a chip on my shoulder. I just want to prove that I’m back to who I am and that I can still play, I can still go and I’m healthy. The main thing is just showing people that I’m healthy, back and that I can still run a team.”