While a possible trade to the New Jersey Nets simmers, Carmelo Anthony’s seeking the counsel of Kobe Bryant. According to Marc Spears of Yahoo!, Bryant, who demanded and then un-demanded a deal in 2007, recently spoke with Melo about the +/- of a trade. According to Spears, Bryant advised the seven-year pro to be cautious about leaving Denver unless he’s totally happy with the landing spot (reportedly New Jersey).

Here’s a bit of the Yahoo! column:

“Bryant’s advice to ‘Melo?

Don’t leave just to leave.

“We’ll see if he signs a reasonable extension and if he’s 100 percent happy that it’s where he wants to go,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports Saturday. “If not, don’t make a move just to get out of the situation. …Make sure it’s a move that you’re very happy in and you’re comfortable with.”

“I’m closer to him than anyone else from my Olympic team,” Bryant said. “My advice is to do what he feels is right for him and his family. It starts there. He has to be happy with the situation that he is in because if your heart isn’t where it should be, it could have a half-ass effect. You don’t want that. You can’t please everybody. You just have to do what’s right for you.”

My question: Isn’t there a possible conflict of interest here? I mean, don’t the Nuggets and Lakers compete in the same Western Conference? Didn’t they meet up in the Conference Finals just two seasons ago?

Then again, I sincerely doubt that Kobe would give bad advice to Melo just to gain a competitive advantage. Plus, wouldn’t it benefit L.A. if Melo was dealt to an Eastern Conference team (something that Bryant sort of advised Anthony against)? Plus plus, aren’t they friends (and who would steer a buddy wrong)?

So I don’t put much stock in there actually being a conflict of interest.

Still, Kobe always plays to win. I can’t help but wonder if he’s doing that now, too.