ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday that the Spurs granted permission for the Hornets to interview Messina, who is familiar with Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak due to their time together with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Charlotte fired head coach Steve Clifford last week after five seasons with the team.
The 58-year-old Messina is a native of Italy who has been part of Gregg Popovich's staff with the Spurs since 2014.
Messina previously served as the head coach for several European professional teams, including CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid.
During the 2011-12 season, Messina was a consultant under head coach Mike Brown with the Lakers.
In 17 seasons as a head coach in Europe, Messina went 279-98 and won four EuroLeague championships. Messina also had multiple stints as the head coach of the Italian national team, leading it to a silver medal in EuroBasket 1997.
Steve Kerr, Kiki Vandeweghe and Jay Triano are the only three head coaches in NBA history who were born outside the United States.
If Messina is hired by the Hornets, he will become only the second NBA head coach to be born outside the United States without American citizenship or a U.S. passport at the time along with Triano, who was born in Canada.